Gender modification in a monoecious species Sagittaria potamogetifolia (Alismataceae)

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Abstract

In order to find out if the inflorescences number variation has influences on the gender modification in plant species, we investigated the gender modification in a cultivated population of the monoecious species Sagittaria potamogetifolia. We also designed two nutrient levels to explore the impact of nutrient on gender modification in S. potamogetifolia. We found that the female and male flowers did not change with increasing plant size for each inflorescence at a low nutrient level. At a high nutrient level, the female flower numbers on each inflorescence did not increase with plant size; however, the male flower numbers had some positive correlation with the plant size. At the ramet level, the total male and female flower numbers increased with the plant size at both nutrient levels. The sex ratio (female to male flower ratio) decreased with the inflorescence numbers and the plant size (Midvein length). Although the nutrient variation had impact on the flower number production, it did not change the gender modification pattern. The high plasticity of inflorescence numbers, which caused the gender variation in S. potamogetifolia, and low plasticity of female and male flowers on a single inflorescence, indicates that the limited modification on gender in a single inflorescence may be compensated by inflorescence number variation at the ramet level.

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