Correlated evolution of flower size and seed number in flowering plants (monocotyledons)

Evolution of large flowers and associated specialized pollination mechanisms may increase the genetic relatedness of seeds within multiovulate ovaries by pollination of all ovules by one pollen parent, minimizing effects of competition among developing seeds through kin selection. Researchers from ATREE, Bangalore; Department of Biology, University of Massachusetts, USA; Concordia University, Montreal, Canada using phylogenetically independent trait data, demonstrate strong correlated evolution between flower size and seed number. The study concluded that angiosperms seem to fall into two categories: large flowers with specialized pollinators and many seeded fruits, as illustrated by the stinking iris Iris foetidissima, and small flowers pollinated by generalist insects or wind and single or few seeded fruits, illustrated by the false Solomon’s seal Maianthemum racemosum.