Plant traits correlated with generation time directly affect inbreeding depression and mating system and indirectly genetic structure

BMC Evolutionary Biology
J DuminilRémy J Petit


Understanding the mechanisms that control species genetic structure has always been a major objective in evolutionary studies. The association between genetic structure and species attributes has received special attention. As species attributes are highly taxonomically constrained, phylogenetically controlled methods are necessary to infer causal relationships. In plants, a previous study controlling for phylogenetic signal has demonstrated that Wright's FST, a measure of genetic differentiation among populations, is best predicted by the mating system (outcrossing, mixed-mating or selfing) and that plant traits such as perenniality and growth form have only an indirect influence on FST via their association with the mating system. The objective of this study is to further outline the determinants of plant genetic structure by distinguishing the effects of mating system on gene flow and on genetic drift. The association of biparental inbreeding and inbreeding depression with population genetic structure, mating system and plant traits are also investigated. Based on data from 263 plant species for which estimates of FST, inbreeding (FIS) and outcrossing rate (tm) are available, we confirm that mating system is the main influen...Continue Reading


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