A novel type of neighbour perception elicits reproductive plasticity in an annual plant with a mixed mating system

O. Falik, I. Hoffmann, A. Novoplansky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Plants display various forms of phenotypic plasticity in anticipation of changing conditions, many of which are influenced by information obtained from neighbouring plants. Here, we tested the hypothesis that cleistogamic Lamium amplexicaule plants can adaptively modify production of chasmogamous (CH) and cleistogamous (CL) flowers based on the perception of conspecific neighbours. The production and proportion of CH and CL flowers was examined in individual L. amplexicaule grown at varying densities or treated with root leachates from plants grown at different densities. When growing at high density or treated with root leachates from high-density pots, L. amplexicaule increased production of more expensive, potentially outcrossing CH flowers. In contrast, single plants or plants treated with root leachates from empty pots or single-source plants predominantly developed cheaper, self-pollinated CL flowers. The results demonstrate a novel root-based neighbour-perception modality that enables plants to adaptively adjust production of CH and CL flowers in response to the presence of potential reproductive partners. Further research is needed to explore the broader ecological implications of this novel interplant cueing on reproductive bet-hedging and plasticity in natural settings, as well as to identify the involved cues and their mode of operation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-420
Number of pages6
JournalPlant Biology
Volume26
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2024

Keywords

  • Chasmogamy
  • Lamium amplexicaule
  • cleistogamy
  • interplant cueing
  • neighbour perception
  • phenotypic plasticity
  • plant communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Plant Science

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