We investigated the relationship between flowering time and sexual allocation in wild-type Arabidopsis thaliana and in genetically similar lineages with single-locus mutations of floral induction genes. We examined whether the mechanisms of growth and development that govern resource investment would permit the independent evolution of reproductive phenology and sexual allocation, or whether constraints, manifested as pleiotropic effects of the single mutations, would link these two life-history traits. Flowering times differed significantly among genotypes, and, as expected, later flowering times were associated with larger vegetative size. Later flowering genotypes produced heavier floral parts (larger petals, in particular), and allocated a significantly lower proportion of biomass to androecia, especially in final allocations that included fruit biomass. At least part of this pleiotropic covariation of flowering time and sexual allocation is likely to be mediated by vegetative size and the rate of resource supply to growing reproductive tissues, because the larger fruits of late-flowering genotypes required the same time, or proportionately less time than the difference in biomass, to mature. Because fruit mass is considered an investment in female function, sexual allocation measured at the end of a growing season tends to be highly female biased in angiosperms. We consider the implications of the pleiotropic association of flowering time, vegetative size, and sexual investment for the theory of sex allocation, and suggest that the idiosyncratic phenology of sexual investment in flowering plants creates a departure from a central assumption of Fisher's seminal sex allocation argument.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 59 • No. 5