Evolution. 2002 Jan;56(1):31-41.
The evolution and maintenance of monoecy and dioecy in Sagittaria latifolia (Alismataceae).
Dorken ME, Friedman J, Barrett SC.
Department of Botany, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. dorken@botany.utoronto.ca

Abstract
Plant species rarely exhibit both monoecious and dioecious sexual systems. This limits opportunities to investigate the consequences of combined versus separate sex function on mating patterns and genetic variation and the analysis of factors responsible for the evolution and maintenance of the two sexual systems. Populations of the North American clonal aquatic Sagittaria latifolia are usually either monoecious or dioecious and often grow in close geographic proximity. We investigated mating patterns, genetic structure, and relationships between the two sexual systems using allozyme variation in populations from southern Ontario, Canada. As predicted, selfing rates in monoecious populations (n = 6, mean = 0.41) were significantly higher than in dioecious populations (n = 6, mean = 0.11). Moreover, marker-based estimates of inbreeding depression (delta) indicated strong selection against inbred offspring in both monoecious (mean delta = 0.83) and dioecious (mean delta = 0.84) populations. However, the difference in selfing rate between the sexual systems was not reflected in contrasting levels of genetic variation. Our surveys of 12 loci in 15 monoecious and 11 dioecious populations revealed no significant differences in the proportion of polymorphic loci (P), number of alleles per locus (A), or observed and expected heterozygosity (H(o) and H(e), respectively). Strong inbreeding depression favoring survival of outcrossed offspring may act to maintain similar levels of diversity between monoecious and dioecious populations. Despite geographical overlap between the two sexual systems in southern Ontario, a dendrogram of genetic relationships indicated two distinct clusters of populations largely corresponding to monoecious and dioecious populations. Reproductive isolation between monoecious and dioecious populations appears to be governed, in part, by observed differences in habitat and life history. We suggest that selfing and inbreeding depression in monoecious populations are important in the transition from monoecy to dioecy and that the maintenance of distinct sexual systems in S. latifolia is governed by interactions between ecology, life history, and mating.

Evolution. 2003 Sep;57(9):1973-88.
Life-history differentiation and the maintenance of monoecy and dioecy in Sagittaria latifolia (Alismataceae).
Dorken ME, Barrett SC.
Department of Botany, University of Toronto, 25 Willcocks Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 3B2.

Abstract
The existence of monoecious and dioecious populations within plant species is rare. This limits opportunities to investigate the ecological mechanisms responsible for the evolution and maintenance of these contrasting sexual systems. In Sagittaria latifolia, an aquatic flowering plant, monoecious and dioecious populations exist in close geographic proximity but occupy distinct wetland habitats differing in the relative importance of disturbance and competition, respectively. Life-history theory predicts contrasting evolutionary responses to these environmental conditions. We propose that the maintenance of monoecy and dioecy in S. latifolia is governed by ecological selection of divergent life-history strategies in contrasting habitats. Here we evaluate this hypothesis by comparing components of growth and reproduction between monoecious and dioecious populations under four conditions: natural populations, a uniform glasshouse environment, a common garden in which monoecious and dioecious populations and their F1 progeny were compared, and a transplant experiment using shaded and unshaded plots in a freshwater marsh. Plants from dioecious populations were larger in size and produced heavier corms in comparison with monoecious populations. Monoecious populations flowered earlier and produced more flowers, clonal ramets, and corms than dioecious populations. The life-history differences between the sexual systems were shown to have a quantitative genetic basis, with F1 progeny generally exhibiting intermediate trait values. Survival was highest for each sexual system in field plots that most closely resembled the habitats in which monoecious (unshaded) and dioecious (shaded) populations grow. These results demonstrate that monoecious and dioecious populations exhibit contrasting patterns of investment in traits involved with growth and reproduction. Selection for divergent life histories between monoecious and dioecious populations of S. latifolia appears to be the principal mechanism maintaining the integrity of the two sexual systems in areas of geographic overlap.

Proc Biol Sci. 2004 Jan 22;271(1535):213-9.
Sex determination and the evolution of dioecy from monoecy in Sagittaria latifolia (Alismataceae).
Dorken ME, Barrett SC.
Department of Botany, University of Toronto, 25 Willcocks Street, Toronto, Ontario MSS 3B2, Canada.

Abstract
The role of mutations of small versus large effect in adaptive evolution is of considerable interest to evolutionary biologists. The major evolutionary pathways for the origin of dioecy in plants (the gynodioecy and monoecy-paradioecy pathways) are often distinguished by the number of mutations involved and the magnitude of their effects. Here, we investigate the genetic and environmental determinants of sex in Sagittaria latifolia, a species with both monoecious and dioecious populations, and evaluate evidence for the evolution of dioecy via gynodioecy or monoecy-paradioecy. We crossed plants of the two sexual systems to generate F1, F2 and backcross progeny, and grew clones from dioecious populations in low-and high-fertilizer conditions to examine sex inconstancy in females and males. Several lines of evidence implicate two-locus control of the sex phenotypes. In dioecious populations sex is determined by Mendelian segregation of alleles, with males heterozygous at both the male- and female-sterility loci. In monoecious populations, plants are homozygous for alleles dominant to male sterility in females and recessive to female sterility in males. Experimental manipulation of resources revealed sex inconstancy in males but not females. These results are consistent with predictions for the evolution of dioecy via gynodioecy, rather than the expected monoecy-paradioecy pathway, given the ancestral monoecious condition.