Parental effects in Plantago lanceolata. L. I. A growth chamber experiment to examine pre-and post-zygotic temperature effects

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Elizabeth P. Lacey, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: In spite of the potential evolutionary importance of parental effects, many aspects of these effects remain inadequately explained. This paper explores both their causes and potential consequences for the evolution of life-history traits in plants. In a growth chamber experiment, I manipulated the pre- and postzygotic temperatures of both parents of controlled crosses of Plantago lanceolata. All offspring traits were affected by parental temperature. On average, low parental temperature increased seed weight, reduced germination and offspring growth rate, and accelerated onset of reproduction by 7%, 50%, 5%, and 47%, respectively, when compared to the effects of high parental temperature. Both pre- and postzygotic parental temperatures (i.e., prior to fertilization vs. during fertilization and seed set, respectively) influenced offspring traits but not always in the same direction. In all cases, however, the postzygotic effect was stronger. The prezygotic effects were more often transmitted paternally than maternally. Growth and onset of reproduction were influenced both directly by parental temperature as well as indirectly via the effects of parental temperature on seed weight and germination. Significant interactions between parental genotypes and prezygotic temperature treatment (G × E interactions) show that genotypes differ in their intergenerational responses to temperature with respect to germination and growth. The data suggest that temperature is involved in both genetically based and environmentally induced parental effects and that parental temperature may accelerate the rate of evolutionary change in flowering time in natural populations of P. lanceolata. The environmentally induced temperature effects, as mediated through G × (prezygotic) E interactions are not likely to affect the rate or direction of evolutionary change in the traits examined because postzygotic temperature effects greatly exceed prezygotic effects.

Additional Information

Evolution 50(2): 865-878
Language: English
Date: 1996
Germination, growth, life-history evolution, maternal effects, onset of reproduction, parental effects, paternal effects, Plantago lanceolata, pre- and postzygotic effects, seed weight, temperature

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