The self-incompatibility (S) gene in flowering plants has long been appreciated as an example of extreme allelic polymorphism maintained by frequency-dependent selection. Recent studies of population samples of S-allele sequences obtained by RT-PCR from five species of Solanaceae now reveal a picture of conspicuous inter-specific variation in both S-allele number and age. Explanations for this variation are examined with reference to current theory. We propose that changes in species' effective population size, particularly those associated with the evolution of different life histories, best account for interspecific differences in both the number and average age of S alleles.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 16, 2004
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