Plant Biol (Stuttg) 2005; 7(2): 190-194
DOI: 10.1055/s-2005-837540
Research Paper

Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart KG · New York

Heritable Variation in Seed Sex Ratio of the Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)

T. J. de Jong1 , H. W. Nell1 , G. A. Glawe1
  • 1Institute of Biology, Leiden University, P.O. Box 9516, 2300RA Leiden, The Netherlands
Weitere Informationen


Received: October 5, 2004

Accepted: January 5, 2005

11. April 2005 (online)


Male and female flowering plants of the dioecious Urtica dioica occur in approximately equal numbers in our study area on the coastal sand dunes of Meijendel. The seed sex ratio (SSR, fraction of males) collected from female plants in the field varied between 0.05 and 0.76, and differed significantly between maternal parents. After one generation of selection for either high or low SSR, female plants produced seed batches with sex ratios as extreme as 0.08 and 0.73. Natural populations of U. dioica harbour considerable genetic variation in SSR.


T. J. de Jong

Institute of Biology
Leiden University

P.O. Box 9516

2300RA Leiden

The Netherlands


Editor: M. Koornneef