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Cloning capacity helps seeds of Garcinia xanthochymus counter animal predation


Wang, Zhenyu (2022), Cloning capacity helps seeds of Garcinia xanthochymus counter animal predation, Dryad, Dataset,


Seed predators have the potential to act as agents of natural selection that influence seed traits and seed fates, which in turn affect the whole plant population dynamic. Accordingly, plants deploy a variety of mechanisms (e.g. resistance and tolerance strategies) to lessen the impact of predation on seed crop or on an individual seed. In this study, we described a novel mechanism, seed cloning strategy, in a tropical plant species in countering animal predation. By conducting field- and laboratory-based germination experiments, we found that both rodent damaged and  artificially damaged seed fragments of a large-seeded tree Garcinia xanthochymus (Clusiaceae) could successfully germinate and establish as seedlings. Tissue culture experiments revealed that G. xanthochymus has no endosperm in seeds, and its seed fragments own strong capacity of differentiation and cloning. Seed damage negatively affected seedling growth and germination, but the seed germination rate was remarkably high. Our study suggests that, seed cloning capacity, adopted by the large-seeded tree G. xanthochymus may act as a novel strategy counteract for seed predation, and would play a significant role in stabilizing the mutualism between plant and animals.