Correlation between the timing of autonomous selfing and floral traits: a comparative study from three selfing Gentianopsis species (Gentianaceae)
About 20% of angiosperms employ self-fertilization as their main mating strategy. In this study, we aimed to examine how the selfing timing correlated with floral traits in three Gentianopsis species in which autonomous selfing is achieved through filament elongation. Although the three Gentianopsis species exhibit no significant variation in their capacity for autonomous selfing, flowers of G. grandis last longer, are larger and have a higher corolla biomass, P/O ratios and male biomass allocation than those of G. paludosa, and especially those of G. contorta. Autonomous selfing occurs in the early floral life of G. paludosa and G. contorta and in the later floral life of G. grandis. Seed production mainly results from autonomous selfing in G. paludosa and G. contorta; however, G. grandis could be more described as having a mixed mating system. We suggest that autonomous selfing in later floral life increases the chance of cross-pollination prior to this, while autonomous selfing in early floral life offers a selective advantage to plants by reducing the resource investment in traits that may increase pollinator attraction and visitation.
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|| Zhu XF|
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