Sexual conflict and sexually antagonistic coevolution in an annual plant.
Summary, in English
BACKGROUND: Sexual conflict theory predicts sexually antagonistic coevolution of reproductive traits driven by conflicting evolutionary interests of two reproducing individuals. Most studies of the evolutionary consequences of sexual conflicts have, however, to date collectively investigated only a few species. In this study we used the annual herb Collinsia heterophylla to experimentally test the existence and evolutionary consequences of a potential sexual conflict over onset of stigma receptivity. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We conducted crosses within and between four greenhouse-grown populations originating from two regions. Our experimental setup allowed us to investigate male-female interactions at three levels of geographic distances between interacting individuals. Both recipient and pollen donor identity affected onset of stigma receptivity within populations, confirming previous results that some pollen donors can induce stigma receptivity. We also found that donors were generally better at inducing stigma receptivity following pollen deposition on stigmas of recipients from another population than their own, especially within a region. On the other hand, we found that donors did worse at inducing stigma receptivity in crosses between regions. Interestingly, recipient costs in terms of lowered seed number after early fertilisation followed the same pattern: the cost was apparent only if the pollen donor belonged to the same region as the recipient. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results indicate that recipients are released from the cost of interacting with local pollen donors when crossed with donors from a more distant location, a pattern consistent with a history of sexually antagonistic coevolution within populations. Accordingly, sexual conflicts may have important evolutionary consequences also in plants.
- ISSN: 1932-6203