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Am J Bot. 2000 Mar;87(3):339-47.

Heritability of stigma position and the effect of stigma-anther separation on outcrossing in a predominantly self-fertilizing weed, Datura stramonium (Solanaceae).

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  • 1Department of Botany, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27708-0338 USA; and Department of Zoology, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27708-0325 USA.


A polymorphism for anthocyanin production was used as a genetic marker to document the relationship between anther-stigma separation and outcrossing rate in the predominantly self-fertilizing weed Datura stramonium. White-flowered plants that differed in anther-stigma separation were placed into populations consisting exclusively of purple-flowered plants. Self vs. outcross origin of progeny was evident in the hypocotyl color of the seedlings. Outcrossing rates measured for single flowers were significantly positively correlated with anther-stigma separation, albeit with some scatter around the regression line, especially for flowers with exserted stigmas. We also performed an 8 × 8 diallel cross to determine whether anther-stigma separation is genetically determined. Heritability in two field plots was ∼0.3 and in the greenhouse was ∼0.2. Maternal effects, epistasis, and dominance appeared to be relatively unimportant. Genotypes performed consistently across the three environments, although total plant size varied more than fivefold. It appears that the mixed-mating system of D. stramonium has a heritable basis and would be capable of responding to selection.

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