Pontederia cordata L.
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary Pontederia cordata L. (Pontederiaceae), a perennial diploid, possesses the rare genetic polymorphism tristyly. A controlled pollination programme was conducted over a three year period, under glasshouse conditions, on 36 clones of P. cordata var. cordata to examine the nature of the self-incompatibility system. The three major findings of the pollination study were: (1) the three floral morphs display different levels of self-incompatibility, (2) pollen from the two anther levels within a flower exhibits different compatibility behaviour in self-pollinations, (3) considerable individual genetic variation in the expression of self-incompatibility is evident among clones within floral morphs. Similar results were also obtained from a smaller study on 15 clones of P. cordata var. lancifolia conducted over a 6 month period. In common with other Pontederia species the mid-styled morph (M) of P. cordata produces large amounts of seed when self-pollinated with pollen from long-level anthers. A developmental model is proposed to explain the high level of self-compatibility of the M morph in Pontederia species. Self-pollination of segregating progenies from M and S morphs of known incompatibility status demonstrated that the expression of incompatibility is closely associated with style length. It is suggested that overall differences in incompatibility behaviour among the floral morphs may be due to the pleiotropic effects of major genes controlling sub-characters of the tristylous syndrome, rather than linked modifier genes. However, the variable expression of trimorphic incompatibility within floral morphs suggests that this variation may be polygenic in origin.
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