Jason Hernadez wrote:
>If the "normal" seedling is less vigorous than the apomictic ones--and =
>therefore be at a competitive disadvantage to them--why does the plant =
>it? Pollination/fertilization costs the plant energy, so why do it just=
>produce a disadvantaged seedling?
This is the thousand dollar question and the whole issue is so complex
that it is almost impossible to define and describe succinctly.
Apomixis is probably a second line means by which reproduction can
take place. Why the product of true fertilisation of the ovum is
frequently less vigorous at the outset remains unanswered. The simple
fact is that it does in Citrus species at the very least. Why is
anybody's guess. Any 'hybrid' is more likely to be disadvantaged
compared to the true species in any case - just look at the odds of
finding a 'better-than-the-parent-plant' from any batch of hybrids. =20
The ideal is that similar species should reproduce with each other.
However, plants being as diverse and as exploitative as they are, have
innumerable means by which they can ensure their survival. Apomixis
is only one of many methods by which at the very least, some of the
genes can be passed on in some species. It is far from perfect, but
at least it is reproduction.