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Pages 1107-1113
First published 2 September 2013

An Environmental Model of Self-Compatibility Transitions in the Solanaceae Plant Family

Paul Calcraft, Phil Husbands, Andrew Philippides


Higher level selection processes such as species selection are not generally predicted to overpower individual selection on character traits. Goldberg et al. provide a model derived from collected life history data and argue that species selection is maintaining self-incompatibility in the Solanaceae plant family. This model applies only on the level of the species, not representing the underlying interactions between individuals and the environment. We propose a new model with environmental variation at the individual level that may explain the maintenance and frequency of loss of this character trait. We use individual based modelling techniques to explore our hypothesis, and compare it with that originally proposed. The results show alternative values required for the mutation rate to produce the species level transition frequency under the opposing models, given certain assumptions. Future work is suggested to refine the parameter relationships, test for robustness, and determine if individual models of higher complexity will exhibit similar outcomes.