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Progeny sex ratios in dioecious Silene latifolia (Caryophyllaceae)






American Journal of Botany 80(5): 551-556

Progeny sex ratios in dioecious Silene latifolia (Caryophyllaceae)

Most sex ratios reported for Silene latifolia are female biased. As a result of experiments performed by Correns in the early l900s, pollen tube competition has generally been accepted as the primary cause of these skewed ratios. We did four sets of hand pollinations in which we varied the size of pollen loads and placement of pollen along the filamentous stigma. The effect of pollen load size on progeny sex ratios was not statistically significant. Of 32 maternal families, 17 contained more females than males (one ratio deviated statistically from 1:1), and 13 contained more males than females. Paternal families exhibited a greater range of sex ratios, including three with a significant female bias and one with a significant male bias. Within experiments, neither the maternal parent nor where pollen was placed had a statistically significant effect on progeny sex ratios; the paternal effect was significant in one experiment. We suggest that sex ratios in Silene latifolia are not necessarily affected by the level of pollen competition. Other factors, including variation among males and sex-linked mortality, may help explain the skewed sex ratios that characterize populations of this species. Further, Correns' observations of excess females may have resulted from his use of interspecific hybrids. Reprinted by permission of the publisher. .

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Accession: 002468619

DOI: 10.2307/2445371



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