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Am Nat. 2002 Mar;159 Suppl 3:S51-60. doi: 10.1086/338372.

Genetics of floral traits influencing reproductive isolation between Aquilegia formosa and Aquilegia pubescens.

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Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara, California 93106, USA.


Reproductive isolation between Aquilegia formosa and Aquilegia pubescens is influenced by differences in their flowers through their effects on pollinator visitation and pollen transfer. Here, we investigate the genetic basis of floral characters differentiating these species. We found that in addition to the effects of flower orientation and the length of nectar spurs previously described, other characters such as flower color or odor affect hawkmoth visitation. Repeatability of measurements in an F2 population ranged from 0.53 to 0.83 among five floral traits, indicating that using the means of multiple measures per plant will substantially increase the power of a quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis. Integration of floral traits was indicated by significant correlations among traits in an F2 population. In a separate F2 population we found that QTL for different floral traits were often closely associated, indicating that linkage or pleiotropy cause at least some of this integration. In addition, we found QTL for all floral traits examined. Because Aquilegia species are largely interfertile and vary extensively in both floral morphology and ecology, they offer the opportunity for QTL studies of a wide range of characters affecting reproductive isolation.


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