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Botanical Sciences

On-line version ISSN 2007-4476Print version ISSN 2007-4298


ALVAREZ-ALVAREZ, Jonathan; VAZQUEZ-SANTANA, Sonia  and  GARCIA-CAMPUSANO, Florencia. Mating and breeding systems in Echeveria strictiflora and Echeveria subalpina (Crassulaceae) for ex situ propagation and conservation. Bot. sci [online]. 2021, vol.99, n.4, pp.807-822.  Epub Oct 18, 2021. ISSN 2007-4476.


Floral and reproductive attributes influence the capacity of plants to produce gametes, the efficiency of pollen transfer, the development of viable seeds, and the recruitment of new individuals.


What morphological attributes characterize sexual whorls in E. strictiflora and E. subalpina? Do intra and interspecific mating systems impact on seed production and germinability?

Studied species:

Echeveria strictiflora and Echeveria subalpina.

Study site:

In ex situ conditions in Mexico City from 2018 to 2020.


The spatial position and arrangement of the sexual whorls were described. The morphology of pollen grains and ovules were characterized by optical and scanning electron microscopy. The intra- and interspecific outbreeding and mating systems, as well as the production and germination of seeds were determined under controlled conditions.


Both E. strictiflora and E. subalpina are herkogamous, have a mixed breeding system, and produce seeds by reciprocal hybridization. Abundant viable pollen and ovules are produced. Species are self-compatible, however, the reduction in the production and viability of the seeds produced by selfing, suggests that there is a detrimental effect due to inbreeding depression.


E. strictiflora and E. subalpina produce fruits and seeds by selfing and intra- and inter-specific outbreeding, but inbreeding depression limits recruitment, revealing the importance of conserving populations with sufficient individuals to retain diversity, as well the areas of natural distribution.

Keywords : Floral biology; inbreeding depression; Echeveria; hybridization; outbreeding; sexual reproduction.

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