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Science. 2010 Oct 22;330(6003):493-5. doi: 10.1126/science.1194513.

Species selection maintains self-incompatibility.

Author information

1
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, 840 West Taylor Street, M/C 067, Chicago, IL 60607, USA.

Abstract

Identifying traits that affect rates of speciation and extinction and, hence, explain differences in species diversity among clades is a major goal of evolutionary biology. Detecting such traits is especially difficult when they undergo frequent transitions between states. Self-incompatibility, the ability of hermaphrodites to enforce outcrossing, is frequently lost in flowering plants, enabling self-fertilization. We show, however, that in the nightshade plant family (Solanaceae), species with functional self-incompatibility diversify at a significantly higher rate than those without it. The apparent short-term advantages of potentially self-fertilizing individuals are therefore offset by strong species selection, which favors obligate outcrossing.

PMID:
20966249
DOI:
10.1126/science.1194513
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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