• Dithyrea californica, flowers and mericarps
    Dithyrea californica, flowers and mericarps

Evolution in a heterogeneous environment: natural selection on seed size in Dithyrea californica

Dr. Keno Larios has just been awarded a UC Mexus Postdoctoral Fellowship to work in the Mazer lab, examining the quantitative genetics of seed size and correlated fitness-related traits in Dithyrea californica, a model system that has allowed him to investigate the selective dynamics of seed size in the wild. D. californica has a special feature that allows us to retrospectively know the size of the seed from which individual plants originated: a persistent mericarpal ring that stays attached to the root for an individual’s entire life. In this project, we are going to create pedigreed seeds from four populations of D. californica using a diallel design and then perform a series of selection experiments to investigate how seed size and fitness-related traits evolve in heterogeneous environments.