A Test of Baker’s Law: Breeding Systems and the Radiation of Tolpis (Asteraceae) in the Canary Islands
Crawford, Daniel J.
Archibald, Jenny K.
Mort, Mark E.
Kelly, John K.
University of Chicago Press
Scholarly/refereed, publisher version
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Baker’s law posits that self‐compatible (SC) plants will be more successful than self‐incompatible (SI) plants in long‐distance colonization because a single propagule can establish a viable population. Oceanic islands represent ideal systems to test Baker’s law because insular lineages have, without question, originated from long‐distance dispersal. The dilemma of Baker’s law is that one propagule of an SC plant would establish a population with low genetic diversity, which could limit subsequent evolution. By contrast, a single propagule from an SI ancestor, having originated from an outcrossing source population, would provide more diversity but could not undergo sexual reproduction. We examined this issue by studying the breeding system of members of the flowering plant genus Tolpis (Asteraceae), a small (nine to 13 species), monophyletic lineage in the Canary Islands archipelago. A combination of floral morphology, pollen‐ovule ratio, autogamous seed set, and genetic data indicates that only one endemic species (T. coronopifolia) is effectively SC. The remainder of the endemics are pseudo‐self‐compatible, i.e., are largely SI but capable of low levels of seed set from self‐fertilization. Pseudo‐self‐compatibility remedies the dilemma of Baker’s law: a single propagule can establish a sexual population and yet have sufficient variation to facilitate diversification.
Crawford, Daniel J. et al. (2008). "A Test of Baker’s Law: Breeding Systems and the Radiation of Tolpis (Asteraceae) in the Canary Islands." International Journal of Plant Sciences, 169(6):782-791. http://www.dx.doi.org/10.1086/533604.
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