Experimental evidence for frequency dependent self-fertilization in the gynodioecious plant, Silene Vulgaris

Keiko Miyake, Matthew S. Olson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


After over a half century of empirical and theoretical research regarding the evolution and maintenance of gynodioecy in plants, unexplored factors influencing the relative fitnesses of females and hermaphrodites remain. Theoretical studies suggest that hermaphrodite self-fertilization (selfing) rate influences the maintenance of gynodioecy and we hypothesized that population sex ratio may influence hermaphrodite selfing rate. An experimental test for frequency-dependent self-fertilization was conducted using replicated populations constructed with different sex ratios of the gynodioecious plant Silene vulgaris. We found that hermaphrodite selfing increased with decreased hermaphrodite frequency, whereas evidence for increased inbreeding depression was equivocal. We argue that incorporation of context dependent inbreeding into future models of the evolution of gynodioecy is likely to yield novel insights into sex ratio evolution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1644-1652
Number of pages9
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2009



  • Cytoplasmic male sterility
  • Inbreeding depression
  • Plant mating system
  • Population sex ratio
  • Population structure

Cite this