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Detect thy family: mechanisms, ecology and agricultural aspects of kin recognition in plants
  • Niels Anten,
  • Bin Chen
Niels Anten
Wageningen University
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Bin Chen
Nanjing Forestry University
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Abstract

The phenomenon that organisms can distinguish genetically related individuals from strangers (i.e. kin recognition) and exhibit more cooperative behaviors towards their relatives has been documented in a wide variety of organisms. But its occurrence in plants has only been recently considered. What emerges is that, while concerns remain about some methodologies used to document kin recognition, there is sufficient evidence to state that it exists in plants. Effects of kin recognition go well beyond reducing resource competition between related plants, and involve interactions with pollinators, pests and diseases as well as symbionts (mycorrhizal networks). It thus likely has important implications for diversity of plant populations, ecological networks and community structure. Such effects need to be further explored. Moreover, as kin selection may result in less competitive traits and thus greater population performance, it also holds promise for crop breeding. However, one would need to consider that (i) growing crops of strongly related plants will evidently forego advantages of crop diversification and (ii) outcomes of kin recognition tend to depend on environmental conditions. Therefore, the primary questions that need to be answered are: when, where and by how much kin recognition improves population performance.

Peer review status:Published

15 Jul 2020Submitted to Plant, Cell & Environment
20 Jul 2020Submission Checks Completed
20 Jul 2020Assigned to Editor
25 Aug 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
27 Sep 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
28 Sep 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
21 Nov 20201st Revision Received
21 Nov 2020Submission Checks Completed
21 Nov 2020Assigned to Editor
26 Nov 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
11 Dec 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
22 Dec 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
12 Jan 20212nd Revision Received
13 Jan 2021Submission Checks Completed
13 Jan 2021Assigned to Editor
14 Jan 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
14 Jan 2021Editorial Decision: Accept
18 Feb 2021Published in Plant, Cell & Environment. 10.1111/pce.14011