The evolution of selfing taxa from outcrossing ancestors has occurred repeatedly and is the subject of many theoretical models, yet few empirical studies have examined the immediate consequences of inbreeding in a population with variable expression of self-incompatibility. Because self-incompatibility breaks down with floral age in Campanula rapunculoides, we were able to mate outbred and selfed maternal plants in a crossing design which produced progeny with inbreeding coefficients of 0, 0.25, 0.50 and 0.75. Cumulative inbreeding depression in plants that were selfed for one generation was very high in families derived from strongly self-incompatible plants (average δ = 0.98), and somewhat lower in families derived from plants with weaker expression of self-incompatibility (average δ = 0.90). Relative to outbred progeny, inbred progeny produced fewer seeds, had lower rates of germination, less vegetative growth and fewer flowers per plant. Inbred progeny also took longer to germinate, and longer to produce a first leaf and to flower. Interestingly, inbred plants also produced 40% fewer seeds than outcrossed plants (t-test P < 0.001) even when mated to the same, unrelated pollen donor, suggesting that inbreeding can produce profound maternal effects. Most importantly, our results demonstrate that progeny derived from plants with stronger expression of self-incompatibility exhibited greater levels of inbreeding depression than progeny from plants with weaker expression of self-incompatibility. Moreover, the decline in fitness (cumulative, In-transformed) over the four inbreeding levels was steeper for the progeny of the strongly self-incompatible lineages. These empirical results suggest that inbreeding depression and mating system phenotype have the potential to coevolve.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics