Javascript is not activated in your browser. This website needs javascript activated to work properly.
You are here

Does inbreeding promote evolutionary reduction of flower size? Experimental evidence from Crepis tectorum (Asteraceae).

  • Stefan Andersson
Publishing year: 2012
Language: English
Pages: 1388-1398
Publication/Series: American Journal of Botany
Volume: 99
Issue: 8
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Botanical Society of America

Abstract english

• Premise of the study: Small, autogamous flowers have evolved repeatedly in the plant kingdom. While much attention has focused on the mechanisms that promote the shift to autogamy, there is still a paucity of information on the factors that underlie the reduction of flower size so prevalent in selfing lineages. In this study of Crepis tectorum, I examine the role of inbreeding, acting alone or together with selection, in promoting evolutionary reduction of flower size. • Methods: Experimental crosses were performed to produce progeny populations that differed in inbreeding and (or) selection history. Progenies were grown in two different environments and scored for flower size and other characters. • Key results: Inbreeding depressed flower and fruit size, but also caused changes in flowering time and the number of heads produced. Despite some inconsistencies in the results for the last progeny generation, the decline in flower size was persistent over generations, consistent across environments, and similar in magnitude to the effects of selection for small flower size and the floral reduction inferred to have taken place during the shift toward autogamy within the study species. The floral size reduction was largely independent of changes in overall vigor, and there was considerable adaptive potential in flower size (measured by sib analyses and parent-offspring comparisons) after inbreeding. • Conclusions: The results of this study indicate that inbreeding can promote evolutionary reduction of flower size and highlight the close, persistent association between flower and fruit size in the study species.


  • Ecology


  • ISSN: 1537-2197
Stefan Andersson
E-mail: stefan [dot] andersson [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se



+46 46 222 44 08



Research group

Plant Biology



Doctoral students and Postdocs

PhD students, main supervisor

Gróa Valgerdur Ingimudardóttir

Downloads & links

CV (pdf; 19 kb)