Breeding system variation in 10 evening primroses (oenothera sections anogra and kleinia; onagraceae)

Kathryn E. Theiss, Kent E. Holsinger, Margaret E.K. Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Premise of the study: We examined two accounts of the relationship between breeding system and life history variation in a clade of evening primroses (Oenothera, Onagraceae): (1) selection for reproductive assurance should generate an association between self-compatibility and monocarpy and (2) phylogenetic conservatism leads to retention of breeding system and life history traits among closely related taxa. Methods: We performed over 4000 hand pollinations under greenhouse conditions to determine the compatibility of 10 Oenothera taxa (sections Anogra [17 taxa] and Kleinia [2 taxa)] for which breeding systems had not previously been reported. We used generalized linear mixed models to evaluate the influence of pollination treatment, parents, and population on fruiting success. Key results: Among the taxa tested, six were self-incompatible, two were variable in compatibility, and two were self-compatible. We combined these data with published studies in Anogra and Kleinia and mapped breeding system and life history onto a published phylogeny. Conclusions: We found no evidence for phylogenetic conservatism, but detected considerable evolutionary lability in both traits. Additionally, we found no evidence for a consistent relationship between breeding system and life history. Only eight of 19 taxa followed the predicted association between self-incompatibility and polycarpy vs. self-compatibility and monocarpy. Instead, many taxa have retained self-incompatibility, regardless of monocarpy or polycarpy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1031-1039
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican journal of botany
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Breeding system evolution
  • Oenothera
  • Onagraceae
  • Self-incompatibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Breeding system variation in 10 evening primroses (oenothera sections anogra and kleinia; onagraceae)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this