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Data from: Paternal-specific S-allele transmission in sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.): the potential for sexual selection

Citation

Hedhly, Afif et al. (2016), Data from: Paternal-specific S-allele transmission in sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.): the potential for sexual selection, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.gm7gk

Abstract

Homomorphic self-incompatibility is a well-studied example of a physiological process that is thought to increase population diversity and reduce the expression of inbreeding depression. Whereas theoretical models predict the presence of a large number of S-haplotypes with equal frequencies at equilibrium, unequal allele frequencies have been repeatedly reported and attributed to sampling effects, population structure, demographic perturbation, sheltered deleterious mutations or selection pressure on linked genes. However, it is unclear to what extent unequal segregations are the results of gametophytic or sexual selection. Although these two forces are difficult to disentangle, testing S-alleles in the offspring of controlled crosses provides an opportunity to separate these two phenomena. In this work, segregation and transmission of S-alleles have been characterized in progenies of mixed donors and fully compatible pollinations under field conditions in Prunus avium. Seed set patterns and pollen performance have also been characterized. The results reveal paternal-specific distorted transmission of S-alleles in most of the crosses. Interestingly, S-allele segregation within any given paternal or maternal S-locus was random. Observations on pollen germination, pollen tube growth rate, pollen tube cohort size, seed set dynamics and transmission patterns strongly suggest post-pollination, prezygotic sexual selection, with male–male competition as the most likely mechanism. According to these results, post-pollination sexual selection takes precedence over frequency-dependent selection in explaining unequal S-haplotype frequencies.

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