A new hypothesis for the evolution of overproduction of ovules: An advantage of selective abortion for females not associated with variation in genetic quality of the resulting seeds

Satoki Sakai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A new hypothesis for the evolution of overproduction of ovules within flowers is proposed: overproduction is a counter-strategy of female seed production in the conflict with males and/or offspring. It is advantageous for females to produce a uniform size of seeds, whereas it is advantageous for fertilized ovules to absorb more resources than this size. If there is a variance in resource absorption ability among fertilized ovules, nonuniform seeds are produced. Then, by overproducing ovules, females should select fertilized ovules with similar resource absorption rates, resulting in seeds of uniform size. A model analysis confirmed that this hypothesis works. In the model, the fertilized ovules of a plant consist of two genotypes that differ in resource absorption rate. I found that overproduction of ovules and selective abortion is advantageous if the difference in the resource absorption rates of the genotypes is large. The new hypothesis is different from the selective abortion hypothesis in that selecting ovules is advantageous even if there are no differences in the genetic quality of resulting seeds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)984-993
Number of pages10
JournalEvolution
Volume61
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Apr

Keywords

  • Conflict
  • Overproduction of ovules
  • Resource absorption rate
  • Seed size
  • Selective abortion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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