We examined the effect of inbreeding on fitness (through both male and female functions) and changes in self-fertility in the partially self-incompatible species Campanula rapunculoides. Individuals in natural populations of C. rapunculoides varied extensively in their strength of self-incompatibility (SI). We crossed 11 individuals that differed in their strength of SI to generate families with four levels of inbreeding (f = 0.0, 0.25, 0.5, and 0.75). Progeny were scored for three traits related to male fitness and for outcrossed and selfed seed production. Analyses of variance revealed significant inbreeding depression for the three male traits and seed set. Families with strong or weak SI differed in their response to inbreeding. Families with weak SI had lower levels of inbreeding depression for most traits than families with strong SI, but strong SI families had a greater increase in selfed seed set, but not self-fertility, with inbreeding. Finally, we found evidence of a significant linear response to inbreeding for all three male reproductive traits and outcrossed seed, indicating that inbreeding depression was primarily caused by partially or fully recessive deleterious alleles. Variation in genetic load was associated with variation in self-fertility, a finding that suggests an evolutionary role for partial self-fertility in natural populations of C. rapunculoides.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Plant Science