Seeds from three pairs of outcrossing-selfing sister taxa from the genus Clarkia (farewell-to-spring, Onagraceae)—Clarkia unguiculata, Clarkia exilis, Clarkia xantiana ssp. xantiana and ssp. parviflora, and Clarkia concinna ssp. concinna and ssp. automixa—were studied to assess the effects of contrasting mating systems on seed mass and seed morphology. For each outcrossing-selfing comparison, the seed mass of the selfing taxon was less than that of the outcrossing taxon. Seed mass typically differed significantly among populations within a taxon. Scanning electron microscopy showed that the seeds from all these taxa share several characteristics: a bullet to shield shape, a reticulate exotesta pattern, presence of crystals in the seed coat, and a seed coat that varies in thickness over the length of the seed. No morphological feature reliably distinguished seeds of outcrossing taxa from those of selfing taxa. The lack of morphological differences in conjunction with the consistent differences in seed mass between selfing and outcrossing seeds in these taxa supports the hypothesis that evolutionary forces have acted only on seed mass and not on seed morphology.
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Knies, Jennifer L., Veronique A. Delesalle and A.R. Cavaliere. Seed Mass and Morphology in Outcrossing and Selfing Species of Clarkia (Onagraceae): An SEM Study. International Journal of Plant Sciences. (January 2004) 165(1):85-96.
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