Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Ann Bot. 2006 Aug;98(2):351-60. Epub 2006 May 23.

Inbreeding depression and mixed mating in Leptosiphon jepsonii: a comparison of three populations.

Author information

Department of Biology, East Carolina University, Howell Science Complex, Greenville, NC 27858, USA.



Inbreeding depression is thought to play a central role in the evolution and maintenance of cross-fertilization. Theory indicates that inbreeding depression can be purged with self-fertilization, resulting in positive feedback for the selection of selfing. Variation among populations of Leptosiphon jepsonii in the timing and rate of self-fertilization provides an opportunity to study the evolution of inbreeding depression and mating systems. In addition, the hypothesis that differences in inbreeding depression for male and female fitness can stabilize mixed mating in L. jepsonii is tested.


In a growth room experiment, inbreeding depression was measured in three populations with mean outcrossing rates ranging from 0.06 to 0.69. The performance of selfed and outcrossed progeny is compared at five life history stages. To distinguish between self-incompatibility and early inbreeding depression, aborted seeds and unfertilized ovules were counted in selfed and outcrossed fruits. In one population, pollen and ovule production was quantified to estimate inbreeding depression for male and female fitness.


Both prezygotic barriers and inbreeding depression limited self seed set in the most outcrossing population. Cumulative inbreeding depression ranged from 0.297 to 0.501, with the lowest value found in the most selfing population. Significant inbreeding depression for early life stages was found only in the more outcrossing populations. Inbreeding depression was not significant for pollen or ovule production.


The results provide modest support for the hypothesized relationship between inbreeding depression and mating systems. The absence of early inbreeding depression in the more selfing populations is consistent with theory on purging. Differences in male and female expression of inbreeding depression do not appear to stabilize mixed mating in L. jepsonii. The current estimates of inbreeding depression for L. jepsonii differ from those of previous studies, underscoring the effects of environmental variation on its expression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Silverchair Information Systems Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center