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Abstract Detail

Botany 2015 Colloquium: Integrated perspectives on the ecology, genetics and coevolution of intimate mutualisms

Weiblen, George D. [1], Moe, Annika M. [2].

Pollinator-mediated reproductive isolation among dioecious fig species (Ficus, Moraceae).

The extent of isolation among closely related sympatric plant species engaged in obligate pollination mutualisms depends on the fitness consequences of interspecies floral visitation. In figs (Ficus), interspecific gene flow may occur when pollinating wasps (Agaonidae) visit species other than their natal fig species. We studied reproductive isolation in a clade of six sympatric dioecious fig species in New Guinea. Microsatellite genotyping and Bayesian clustering analysis of the fig community indicated strong reproductive barriers among sympatric species. A total of 1–2% of fig populations consisted of hybrid individuals. A new experimental method of manipulating fig wasps investigated the reproductive consequences of conspecific and heterospecific pollinator visitation for both mutualists. Fig wasps introduced to Ficus hispidioides pollinated and oviposited in receptive figs. Seed development and seedling growth were largely comparable between conspecific and heterospecific crosses. Heterospecific pollinator fitness, however, was significantly less than that of conspecific pollinators. Heterospecific pollinators induced gall formation but offspring did not develop to maturity in the new host. Selection on pollinators maintaining host specificity appears to be an important mechanism of contemporary reproductive isolation among these taxa that could potentially influence their diversification.

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1 - University Of Minnesota, Plant Biology, 250 Biological Sciences Center, 1445 Gortner Ave, St. Paul, MN, 55108, USA, 612/624-3461
2 - University of Minnesota, Department of Plant Biology, 250 Biological Sciences, Saint Paul, MN, 55108, USA


Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Session: C4
Location: Hall C/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2015
Time: 2:30 PM
Number: C4005
Abstract ID:612
Candidate for Awards:None

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