Benefits of self discrimination in roots

Experiments clearly demonstrated that plants competing with clonal sibling plants invested more in clonal reproduction as compared to plants competing with non-siblings.
Kalanchoë daigremontiana (Credit: Yamawo et al.)

Some plants express self discrimination in their roots, which allows them to preferentially reduce antagonistic interactions and increase facilitative interactions with genetically identical ramets or individuals. However, our understanding of how self discrimination contributes to reproduction in plants is limited. In a recent study published in AoB PLANTS, Yamawo et al. set up a competition experiment in which Kalanchoë daigremontiana plants were grown with a self or non-self plant for 30 days. They found that plants competing with a clonal self plant produced more clonal plantlets than plants competing with a non-self plant. They concluded that self discrimination is adaptive in the clonal plant K. daigremontiana.

Reference List

Yamawo, A., Sato, M., & Mukai, H. (2017). Experimental evidence for benefit of self discrimination in roots of a clonal plant. AoB PLANTS, 9(6).