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Genetics. 1991 Mar;127(3):619-26.

Hierarchical patterns of correlated mating in Acacia melanoxylon.

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  • 1Department of Genetics, University of Oulu, Finland.


Pollen of acacias is transported by insects as polyads, composite pollen grains. The polyad has enough pollen grains to fertilize all ovules within a flower and hence all seed within a pod may be full sibs. Isozyme markers were used to test this hypothesis in two populations of Acacia melanoxylon R.Br. The proportions of fruit pods with multiple paternity detected in two populations were 0.08 and 0.15. The proportions of fullsib pairs within pods estimated by the sibling pair method were 1 and 0.63 for the two populations. Comparison of the diploid paternal genotypes of pods of single paternity showed that the probability of a common pollen source for a pair of pods was high within globular clusters (0.35) or within inflorescences (0.46) but declined to 0.10 or 0.25 within the tree at random. Thus the reproductive system acted to reinforce a hierarchy of paternal correlation within each tree.

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