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Elevated temperature drives a shift from selfing to outcrossing in the insect pollinated legume, faba bean (Vicia faba)

Bishop, J., Jones, H. E., O'Sullivan, D. M. and Potts, S. G. (2017) Elevated temperature drives a shift from selfing to outcrossing in the insect pollinated legume, faba bean (Vicia faba). Journal of Experimental Botany, 68 (8). pp. 2055-2063. ISSN 0022-0957

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1093/jxb/erw430

Abstract/Summary

Climate change can threaten the reproductive success of plants, both directly, through physiological damage during increasingly extreme weather events, and indirectly, through disruption of plant–pollinator interactions. To explore how plant–pollinator interactions are modified by extreme weather, we exposed faba bean (Vicia faba) plants to elevated temperature for 5 d during flowering, simulating a heatwave. We then moved the plants to flight cages with either bumblebees or no pollinators, or to two field sites, where plants were enclosed in mesh bags or pollinated by wild insect communities. We used a morphological marker to quantify pollen movement between experimental plants. There was a substantial increase in the level of outcrossing by insect pollinators following heat stress. Proportion outcrossed seed increased from 17 % at control temperature to 33 % following heat stress in the flight cages, and from 31 % to 80 % at one field site, but not at the other (33 % to 32 %). Abiotic stress can dramatically shift the relative contributions of cross- and self-pollination to reproduction in an insect pollinated plant. The resulting increases in gene flow have broad implications for genetic diversity and functioning of ecosystems, and may increase resilience by accelerating the selection of more stress-tolerant genotypes.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Food Production and Quality Division > Animal, Dairy and Food Chain Sciences (ADFCS)
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Biodiversity, Crops and Agroecosystems Division > Centre for Agri-environmental Research (CAER)
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Biodiversity, Crops and Agroecosystems Division > Crops Research Group
ID Code:67775
Uncontrolled Keywords:Allogamy, autogamy, climate change, extreme weather, heat stress, insect pollination, plant-climate interactions, plant-pollinator interactions, Vicia faba
Additional Information:Special issue: 'Legumes: A truly green revolution'
Publisher:Oxford University Press

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