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AID: 0987656555
Pollen dispersal and breeding structure in a hawkmoth-pollinated Pampa grasslands species Petunia axillaris (Solanaceae)
Annals of Botany, . Т. 115. 6. С. 939948 (10).
Background and Aims The evolution of selfing is one of the most common transitions in flowering plants, and this change in mating pattern has important systematic and ecological consequences because it often initiates reproductive isolation and speciation. Petunia axillaris (Solanaceae) includes three allopatric subspecies widely distributed in temperate South America that present different degrees of self-compatibity and incompatibility. One of these subspecies is co-distributed with P. exserta in a restricted area and presents a complex, not well-understood mating system. Artificial crossing experiments suggest a complex system of mating in this sympatric area. The main aims of this study were to estimate the pollen dispersal distance and to evaluate the breeding structure of P. axillaris subsp. axillaris, a hawkmoth-pollinated taxon from this sympatric zone.Methods Pollen dispersal distance was compared with nearest-neighbours distance, and the differentiation in the pollen pool among mother plants was estimated. In addition, the correlation between genetic differentiation and spatial distance among plants was tested. All adult individuals (252) within a space of 2800 m2 and 15 open-pollinated progeny (285 seedlings) were analysed. Genetic analyses were based on 12 polymorphic microsatellite loci.Key Results A high proportion of self-pollination was found, indicating a mixed-mating system. The maximum pollen dispersal distance was 1013 m, but most pollination events (96 %) occurred at a distance of 0 m, predominantly in an inbreeding system. Both parents among sampled individuals could be identifed in 60–85 % of the progeny.Conclusions The results show that most pollen dispersal in the hawkmoth-pollinated P. axillaris subsp. axillaris occurs within populations and there is a high proportion of inbreeding. This mating system appears to favour species integrity in a secondary contact zone with the congener species P. exserta.
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