I developed a gametophytic self-incompatibility (SI) model to study the conditions leading to diversification in SI haplotypes. In the model, the SI system is assumed to be incomplete, and the pollen expressing a given specificity is not fully rejected by the pistils expressing the same specificity. I also assumed that mutations can occur that enhance the rejection of pollen by pistils with the same haplotype variant and reduce rejection by pistils with other variants in the same haplotype. I found that if such mutations occur, the new haplotypes (mutant variants) can stably coexist with the ancestral haplotype in which the mutant arose. This is because pollen bearing the new haplotype is most strongly rejected by pistils bearing the same new haplotype among the pistils in the population; hence, negative frequency-dependent selection prevents their fixation. I also performed simulations and found that the nearly complete SI system evolves from completely self-compatible populations and that SI haplotypes can increase to about 40–50 within a few thousand generations. On the basis of my findings, I propose that diversification of SI haplotypes occurred during the evolution of SI from self-compatibility.
- Pistil specificity genes
- Pollen specificity genes
- Self-incompatibility haplotype
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics