Plant Diversity ›› 2019, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (05): 323-329.DOI: 10.1016/j.pld.2019.06.002

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The coexistence of hermaphroditic and dioecious plants is associated with polyploidy and gender dimorphism in Dasiphora fruticosa

Lin-Lin Wanga,b, Zhi-Qiang Zhangc, Yong-Ping Yanga, Yuan-Wen Duana   

  1. a Key Laboratory for Plant Diversity and Biogeography of East Asia, Germplasm Bank of Wild Species, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research at Kunming, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, Yunnan, 650201, China;
    b University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100049, China;
    c Laboratory of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Yunnan University, Kunming, Yunnan, 650091, China
  • Received:2019-03-01 Revised:2019-06-06 Online:2019-10-25 Published:2019-11-21
  • Contact: Yong-Ping Yang,E-mail;Yuan-Wen Duan,E-mail
  • Supported by:
    We thank Ms. Min Qian for her help in the lab. This work was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China (31570385).

Abstract: Dasiphora fruticosa comprises male, female and hermaphrodite plants, which are distributed sympatrically in some populations on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. To explore what governs the coexistence of these three sexual phenotypes, we investigated the DNA contents, pollen and ovule production, pollen deposition, and performed hand-pollination in both hermaphroditic and dioecious individuals of D. fruticosa. Flow cytometry confirmed that the DNA content of males and females were almost twice as much as that of the hermaphrodites. Male and female flowers produced more pollen grains and ovules than hermaphroditic flowers. Hand-pollinated treatments showed that unisexual flowers were sterile in one sexual function and bisexual flowers were fertile for both functions, but no sterile seeds were produced between unisexual and bisexual flowers. Our findings imply that polyploidy is related to gender dimorphism, and both are likely to play a strong role in the coexistence of two cryptic biological species of D. fruticosa (low ploidy hermaphroditic species and high ploidy dioecious species) in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

Key words: Gender polymorphism, Dioecy, Dasiphora fruticosa, Polyploidy, Reproductive isolation