We examined the effects of pollen competition (pollen load size) on sporophytic vigor and gametophytic performance in Cucurbita texana, a wild gourd, while controlling for alternative interpretations of the data. Under field conditions we compared the vigor of progeny produced from large and small pollen loads and examined the in vitro performance of the pollen produced by the progeny. We found that the progeny from large pollen loads germinated faster and had a greater reproductive output (male flowers and fruits) than progeny produced from small pollen loads. In addition, we found that the pollen produced on plants derived from large pollen loads grew faster in vitro than the pollen produced on plants derived from small pollen loads. These findings indicate that pollen competition affects the performance of the resulting sporophytic generation and the microgametophytes they produce.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science
- Cell Biology