Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Self-pollination, style length development and seed set in self-compatible Asteraceae: evidence from Senecio vulgaris L.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


John Love, Sean Graham, Judith Irwin, Paul Ashton, Francois Bretagnolle, Richard John Abbott

School/Research organisations


Background: Variation in style length has been reported in Senecio vulgaris and has been associated with outcrossing rate.
Aims: To determine if (i) long styles lack germinated pollen on stigmas left to self-pollinate, (ii) successful self-pollination causes styles to stop elongating and shrink in length and (iii) seed set increases with the amount of pollen deposited on stigmas.
Methods: Determined germinated self-pollen on stigmas of long and short styles after auto-self-pollination; scored style length over 48 h in self-pollinated and non-pollinated florets; recorded seed set after placing different amounts of pollen on stigmas.
Results: Most long-styled florets had zero or low amounts of germinated pollen on stigmas in contrast to most short-styled florets. Styles initially elongated to the same length in self-pollinated and non-pollinated florets, then shrank in length in self-pollinated florets while continuing to elongate in non-pollinated florets. Seed set increased with number of pollen grains deposited on stigmas.
Conclusions: Successful self-pollen deposition and/or germination on stigmas of S. vulgaris are indicated by presence of short styles, whereas the opposite is indicated by presence of long styles in florets left to self-pollinate. Self-pollination causes styles to shrink after initially elongating. Seed set is dependent on the amount of pollen deposited on stigmas.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-379
Number of pages9
JournalPlant Ecology & Diversity
Issue number4
Early online date18 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Research areas

  • Asteraceae, Seed set, Self-compatible, Self-pollination, Self-pollen germination, Senecio, Style length development

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Incipient speciation in Oncocyclus irises: Eco-geographic isolation and genetic divergence with no reproductive isolation?

    Volis, S., Zhang, Y-H., Dorman, M. & Abbott, R. J., Feb 2021, In: Flora. 275, 12 p., 151746.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. Senecio as a model system for integrating studies of genotype, phenotype and fitness

    Walter, G. M., Abbott, R. J., Brennan, A. C., Bridle, J. R., Chapman, M., Clark, J., Filatov, D., Nevado, B., Ortiz-Barrientos, D. & Hiscock, S. J., 17 Mar 2020, In: New Phytologist. 226, 2, p. 326-344

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  3. Editorial: Polyploid population genetics and evolution - from theory to practice

    Jighly, A., Abbott, R. J. & Daetwyler, H. D., 28 Nov 2019, In: Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. 7, p. 1-3 3 p., 460.

    Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

  4. Genome-wide analysis of Cushion willow provides insights into alpine plant divergence in a biodiversity hotspot

    Chen, J., Huang, Y., Brachi, B., Yun, Q., Zhang, W., Lu, W., Li, H., Li, W., Sun, X., Wang, G., He, J., Zhuo, Z., Chen, K., Li, Y., Shi, M., Sun, W., Yang, Y., Zhang, R., Abbott, R. J. & Sun, H., 19 Nov 2019, In: Nature Communications. 10, p. 1-12 12 p., 5230.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  5. Genetic diversity hotspots and refugia identified by mapping multi-plant species haplotype diversity in China

    Deng, T., Abbott, R. J., Li, W., Sun, H. & Volis, S., 27 Aug 2019, In: Israel Journal of Plant Sciences. 66, 3-4, p. 136-151 16 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Related by journal

  1. Hybridisation and detection of a hybrid zone between mesic and desert ragworts (Senecio) across an aridity gradient in the eastern Mediterranean

    Abbott, R. J., Comes, H. P., Goodwin, Z. A. & Brennan, A. C., 2018, In: Plant Ecology & Diversity. 11, 3, p. 267-281

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. Recurrent origin of peripheral, coastal (sub)species of Mediterranean Senecio (Asteraceae)

    Comes, H. P., Coleman, M. & Abbott, R. J., Dec 2017, In: Plant Ecology & Diversity. 10, 4, p. 253-271

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  3. The long and the short of it: long-styled florets are associated with higher outcrossing rate in Senecio vulgaris and result from delayed self-pollen germination

    Irwin, J. A., Ashton, P. A., Bretagnolle, F. & Abbott, R. J., 2016, In: Plant Ecology & Diversity. 9, 2, p. 159-165 7 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

ID: 246928957