Species selection maintains self-incompatibility

Emma E. Goldberg, Joshua R. Kohn, Russell Lande, Kelly A. Robertson, Stephen A. Smith, Boris Igić

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

258 Scopus citations

Abstract

Identifying traits that affect rates of speciation and extinction and, hence, explain differences in species diversity among clades is a major goal of evolutionary biology. Detecting such traits is especially difficult when they undergo frequent transitions between states. Self-incompatibility, the ability of hermaphrodites to enforce outcrossing, is frequently lost in flowering plants, enabling self-fertilization. We show, however, that in the nightshade plant family (Solanaceae), species with functional self-incompatibility diversify at a significantly higher rate than those without it. The apparent short-term advantages of potentially self-fertilizing individuals are therefore offset by strong species selection, which favors obligate outcrossing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)493-495
Number of pages3
JournalScience
Volume330
Issue number6003
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 22 2010

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