PMID: 10937253Aug 11, 2000Paper

Evolutionary ecology of Datura stramonium: genetic variation and costs for tolerance to defoliation

Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution
J Fornoni, J Núñez-Farfán


The incorporation of plant tolerance after damage as a new alternative to cope with herbivory, as opposed to resistance, opened new avenues for our understanding of coevolution between plants and herbivores. Although genetic variation on tolerance to defoliation has been detected in some species, few studies have been undertaken with nonagricultural species. In this study, we explore in the annual weed Datura stramonium the existence of genetic variation for tolerance and fitness costs of tolerance. To determine which fitness-related trait was responsible for possible differences in tolerance, growth rate, total flower and fruit production, and the number of seeds per fruit were recorded. Inbred line replicates of D. stramonium from a population of Mexico City were exposed to four defoliation levels (0%, 10%, 30%, and 70%). Our results from a greenhouse experiment using controlled genetic material (inbred lines) indicated that significant genetic variation for tolerance was detected across defoliation environments. Defoliation reduced plant fitness from 15% to 25% in the highest levels of defoliation. Differences on tolerance among inbred lines were accounted by a differential reduction in the proportion of matured fruits acros...Continue Reading


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