Antagonism between local dispersal and self-incompatibility systems in a continuous plant population

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12 Scopus citations


Many self-incompatible plant species exist in continuous populations in which individuals disperse locally. Local dispersal of pollen and seeds facilitates inbreeding because pollen pools are likely to contain relatives. Self-incompatibility promotes outbreeding because relatives are likely to carry incompatible alleles. Therefore, populations can experience an antagonism between these forces. In this study, a novel computational model is used to explore the effects of this antagonism on gene flow, allelic diversity, neighbourhood sizes, and identity by descent. I confirm that this antagonism is sensitive to dispersal levels and linkage. However, the results suggest that there is little to no difference between the effects of gametophytic and sporophytic self-incompatibility systems (GSI and SSI) on unlinked loci. More importantly, both GSI and SSI affect unlinked loci in a manner similar to obligate outcrossing without mating types. This suggests that the primary evolutionary impact of self-incompatibility systems may be to prevent selfing, and prevention of biparental inbreeding might be a beneficial side-effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2327-2336
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular ecology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Genetic structure
  • Isolation by distance
  • Local dispersal
  • Neighbourhood size
  • Recombination
  • Self-incompatibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics


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