Evolution of parental care in haploid–diploid plants

Bessho, K. & Sasaki, A. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3582-5865 (2024). Evolution of parental care in haploid–diploid plants. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 291 (2016) 10.1098/rspb.2023.2351.

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In bryophytes that alternate between haploid gametophytes and diploid sporophytes through sexual reproduction, sporophytes are often attached to and nurtured on the female gametophyte. A similar phenomenon is seen in Florideophyceae (a group of red algae). These systems in which a gametophyte (mother) invests nutrients in sporophytes (offspring) are ideal for studying the evolution of ‘parental care’ in non-animal organisms. Here, we propose a model of a haploid–diploid life cycle and examine the evolution of maternal investment in sporophytes focusing on two effects: the degree of paternal or maternal control of investment and the number of sporophytes. We find that when the female dominantly controls the investment, the evolutionarily stable level of investment is that which maximizes the expected reproductive success of the female gametophyte. The genomic conflict between maternal and paternal alleles complicates the evolutionary outcome; however, a greater male allelic effect and a higher number of sporophytes favour a higher energy investment, which may lead to evolutionary branching or run-away escalation of the investment level. This suggests that the selfishness of the paternal gene is the evolutionary driver of parental care and that complex structures such as fusion cells in red algae may have evolved to suppress it.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Evolution and Ecology (EEP)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 14 Feb 2024 13:38
Last Modified: 14 Feb 2024 13:38
URI: https://pure.iiasa.ac.at/19508

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