Flower shape has evolved in most plants as a consequence of pollinator-mediated selection. Unfortunately, no study has explored the genetic variation of flower shape, despite that this information is crucial to understand its adaptive evolution. Our main goal here is to determine heritability of corolla shape in Erysimum mediohispanicum (Brassicaceae). Also, we explore heritability of other pollinator-selected traits in this plant species, such as plant size, flower display, and corolla size. In addition, we investigate genetic correlations between all these traits. We found significant heritability for one plant-size trait (stalk height), for number of flowers, for all corolla-size traits (corolla diameter, corolla tube length and corolla tube width), and for corolla shape. Consequently, this species retains a high ability to respond to the selection exerted by its pollinators. Genetic correlation was strong between all functionally related traits and between flower number and plant size, weak between corolla size and plant size and no correlation between corolla shape and any other trait. Thus, selection affecting some E. mediohispanicum traits would also indirectly affect other functionally related and unrelated traits. More importantly, the observed genetic correlation seems to be at least partially adaptive because positive correlational selection currently acts on the covariance between some of these traits (Gómez 2003; Gómez et al. 2006).
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Vol. 63 • No. 7