The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 45: S43 - S44 (2001)

Vol 45, Issue S1

Inbreeding depression in Rosmarinus officinalis L

Published: 1 June 2001

PJ Hidalgo, JL Ubera

Univ Cordoba, Dept Biol Vegetal, E-14071 Cordoba, Spain; Univ Huelva, Dept Biol Ambiental & Salud Publ, El Carmen, Spain


Rosmarinus officinalis plants are self-compatible but automatic self-pollination is prevented by strong protandry. Flowers of R. officinalis set abundant seed when cross-pollinated by hand. Nevertheless, the seed set by self-pollination is clearly lower and similar in amount to those obtained in open-pollination. Insect-mediated geitonogamy is possible, and appears to be responsible for the lower seed set in open-pollination. Seed set by male-sterile plants indicates that gynodioecy could be considered as a strategy to increase reproductive output in R. officinalis. Two different steps can be distinguished in the halting of seed selfing: early abortion of the embryo/endosperm just after fertilisation, leading to small and empty seeds; and late abortion of the embryo, leading to empty but apparently normal seeds.

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