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image of Israel Journal of Plant Sciences

Eighty-six species of Cruciferae in Israel, from two ecologically different types of habitats, desert and Mediterranean, were screened for a possible association between their ecogeographic distribution and their breeding systems. The use of pollen: ovule ratio as a valid indicator for the breeding system was supported by a significant correlation between this ratio and autogamous fruit set in a sample of 28 species. The distribution of breeding systems is largely bimodal. Based on pollen:ovule ratios, 60% of the taxa studied are xenogamous; the remainder are self-compatible and largely autogamous. The percentage of selfers was larger in the desert than in the Mediterranean territory, yet the differences between the frequencies of the two breeding categories in the two ecogeographic territories are not statistically significant. Contrary to the expected, in secondary habitats xenogamous taxa are more frequent than autogamous ones.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Botany, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem


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