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1.  Polyploidy influences sexual system and mating patterns in the moss Atrichum undulatum sensu lato 
Annals of Botany  2010;107(1):135-143.
Background and Aims
Evolutionary transitions between separate and combined sexes have frequently occurred across various plant lineages. In mosses, which are haploid-dominant, evolutionary transitions from separate to combined sexes are often associated with genome doubling. Polyploidy and hermaphroditism have strong effects on the inbreeding depression of a population, and are subsequently predicted to affect the mating system.
We tested the association between ploidy (haploid, diploid or triploid gametophytes) and mating system in 21 populations of Atrichum undulatum sensu lato, where sex ratios vary widely. For each population, we measured the sex ratio, estimated selfing rates using allozyme markers and determined the level of ploidy through flow cytometry.
Key Results
Hermaphrodites in A. undulatum were either diploid or triploid. However, many diploid populations were strictly separate-sexed, suggesting that hermaphroditism is not a necessary result of genome doubling. Levels of selfing were strongly supported as being greater than zero in one population with strictly separate-sexed individuals, and one-third of populations with hermaphrodites.
Although hermaphrodites are associated with triploidy, hermaphroditism is not a necessary outcome of genome duplication. Hermaphroditism, but not genome duplication alone, increased estimated selfing rates, probably due to the occurrence of selfing within a gametophyte. Thus, genome duplication can influence the mating system and the associated evolution and maintenance of reproductive traits.
PMCID: PMC3002474  PMID: 21059613
Atrichum undulatum; dioecy; hermaphroditism; geitonogamy; mosses; polyploidy; selfing rates; sexual system
2.  Reproductive investment within inflorescences of Stylidium armeria varies with the strength of early resource commitment 
Annals of Botany  2010;105(5):697-705.
Background and Aims
Resource allocation to flowers, fruits and seeds can vary greatly within an inflorescence. For example, distal fruits are often smaller and produce fewer and smaller fruits and seeds than more basal fruits. To assess the causes and functional significance of intra-inflorescence variation, pollen and resources were manipulated to test whether such patterns could be altered within racemes of Stylidum armeria, a perennial Australian herb.
Pollen and resource levels were manipulated over two flowering seasons. How the number of ovules, fertilized ovules and seeds, the probability of fruit set, and the biomass of floral and fruiting structures varied with their position on the raceme were analysed.
Key Results
Most plants showed a decline in ovule and seed number toward the distal positions on the raceme, but plants differed in their pattern of intra-inflorescence allocation: racemes with greater investment in basal fruits displayed a stronger trade-off with distal investment than did racemes that made smaller initial investments. This trade-off was (a) much stronger for ovule number than for seed number, (b) ameliorated but not erased by resource addition, and (c) exacerbated by resource reduction. There was large and seemingly erratic variation across fruit positions in ovule fertilization and seed set following both natural and supplemental pollination.
In S. armeria, allocation to reproductive traits within the inflorescence is influenced by dynamic trade-offs in resource allocation between early and late fruits, and may also be subject to inherent architectural effects. Large, unpredictable variation among fruits in fertilization success and seed set may influence the evolution of inflorescence size, ovule number and floral dimorphism.
PMCID: PMC2859907  PMID: 20375201
Architectural effects; floral biomass; intra-inflorescence; pollen limitation; resource pre-emption; Stylidium armeria

Results 1-2 (2)