The clonal weed Solanum carolinense exhibits plasticity in the strength of its self-incompatibility (SI) system and suffers low levels of inbreeding depression (δ) in the greenhouse. We planted one inbred and one outbred plant from each of eight maternal plants in a ring (replicated twice) and monitored clonal growth, herbivory, and reproduction over two years. Per ramet δ was estimated to be 0.63 in year one and 0.79 in year two, and outbred plants produced 2.5 times more ramets than inbred plants in the spring of year two. Inbred plants also suffered more herbivore damage than outbred plants in both fields, suggesting that inbreeding compromises herbivore resistance. Total per genet δ was 0.85 over the two years, indicating that S. carolinense is unlikely to become completely self-compatible, and suggesting that plasticity in the SI system is part of a stable mixed-mating system permitting self-fertilization when cross pollen limits seed production.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)