Pollen colour morphs take different paths to fitness

Koski, Matthew H.; Berardi, Andrea E.; Galloway, Laura F. (2020). Pollen colour morphs take different paths to fitness. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 33(4), pp. 388-400. Wiley 10.1111/jeb.13599

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Colour phenotypes are often involved in communication and are thus under selection by species interactions. However, selection may also act on colour through correlated traits or alternative functions of biochemical pigments. Such forms of selection are instrumental in maintaining petal colour diversity in plants. Pollen colour also varies markedly, but the maintenance of this variation is little understood. In Campanula americana, pollen ranges from white to dark purple, with darker morphs garnering more pollinator visits and exhibiting elevated pollen performance under heat stress. Here, we generate an F2 population segregating for pollen colour and measure correlations with floral traits, pollen attributes and plant‐level traits related to fitness. We determine the pigment biochemistry of colour variants and evaluate maternal and paternal fitness of light and dark morphs by crossing within and between morphs. Pollen colour was largely uncorrelated with floral traits (petal colour, size, nectar traits) suggesting it can evolve independently. Darker pollen grains were larger and had higher anthocyanin content (cyanidin and peonidin) which may explain why they outperform light pollen under heat stress. Overall, pollen‐related fitness metrics were greater for dark pollen, and dark pollen sires generated seeds with higher germination potential. Conversely, light pollen plants produce 61% more flowers than dark, and 18% more seeds per fruit, suggesting a seed production advantage. Results indicate that light and dark morphs may achieve fitness through different means—dark morphs appear to have a pollen advantage whereas light morphs have an ovule advantage—helping to explain the maintenance of pollen colour variation.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Plant Development
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

Berardi, Andrea Elise

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

1010-061X

Publisher:

Wiley

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

24 Mar 2020 16:15

Last Modified:

07 Apr 2020 11:59

Publisher DOI:

10.1111/jeb.13599

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Anthocyanins; Campanula Americana; flavonoids; floral evolution; flower colour; pollen colour; pollen viability; trait correlation

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.141277

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/141277

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