Monoecy (/məˈnsi/; adj. monoecious /məˈnʃəs/)[1] is a sexual system in seed plants where separate male and female cones or flowers are present on the same plant.[2] It is a monomorphic sexual system alongside gynomonoecy, andromonoecy and trimonoecy.[3]

Monoecy is connected to anemophily.[2] It can prevent self-pollination in an individual flower but cannot prevent self-pollination between male and female flowers on the same plant.[4]:32

Monoecy in angiosperms has been of interest for evolutionary biologists since Charles Darwin.[5]


Monoecious comes from the Greek words for one house.[6]


The term monoecy was first introduced in 1735 by Carl Linnaeus.[2] Darwin noted that the flowers of monoecious species sometimes showed traces of the opposite sex function.[7] Monoecious hemp was first reported in 1929.[8]


Monoecy is most common in temperate climates[9] and is often associated with inefficient pollinators or wind-pollinated plants.[10][11] It may be beneficial to reducing pollen-stigma interference, thus increasing seed production.[12]

Around 10% of all seed plant species are monoecious.[9] It is present in 7% of angiosperms.[13] Most Cucurbitaceae are monoecious[14] including most watermelon cultivars.[15] It is prevalent in Euphorbiaceae.[16][17] Dioecy is replaced by monoecy in the polyploid subspecies of Empetrum nigrum, E. nigrum ssp. hermaphroditum and polyploid populations of Mercurialis annua.[18]


The evolution of monoecy has received little attention.[7] Male and female flowers evolve from hermaphroditic flowers[19] via andromonoecy or gynomonoecy.[20]:148

In Amaranths monoecy may have evolved from hermaphroditism through various processes caused by male sterility genes and female fertility genes.[20]:150

Monoecy has also been proposed to be an intermediate state between hermaphroditism and dioecy.[21]

Evolution from dioecy to monoecy probably involves disruptive selection on floral sex ratios.[22]:65 Monoecy is also considered to be a step in the evolutionary pathway from hermaphroditism towards dioecy.[23]:91 Some authors even argue monoecy and dioecy are related.[2] But, there is also evidence that monoecy is a pathway from sequential hermaphroditism to dioecy.[23]:8

See also


  1. "monoecious". Lexico UK English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on September 5, 2021.
  2. Batygina, T. B. (2019-04-23). Embryology of Flowering Plants: Terminology and Concepts, Vol. 3: Reproductive Systems. CRC Press. p. 43. ISBN 978-1-4398-4436-6.
  3. Torices, Rubén; Méndez, Marcos; Gómez, José María (2011). "Where do monomorphic sexual systems fit in the evolution of dioecy? Insights from the largest family of angiosperms". New Phytologist. 190 (1): 234–248. doi:10.1111/j.1469-8137.2010.03609.x. ISSN 1469-8137. PMID 21219336.
  4. Karasawa, Marines Marli Gniech (2015-11-23). Reproductive Diversity of Plants: An Evolutionary Perspective and Genetic Basis. Springer. ISBN 978-3-319-21254-8.
  5. Nozaki, Hisayoshi; Mahakham, Wuttipong; Heman, Wirawan; Matsuzaki, Ryo; Kawachi, Masanobu (2020-07-02). "A new preferentially outcrossing monoicous species of Volvox sect. Volvox (Chlorophyta) from Thailand". PLOS ONE. 15 (7): e0235622. Bibcode:2020PLoSO..1535622N. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0235622. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 7332039. PMID 32614898.
  6. Purves, William K.; Sadava, David E.; Orians, Gordon H.; Heller, H. Craig (2001). Life: The Science of Biology. Macmillan. p. 192. ISBN 978-0-7167-3873-2.
  7. Pedersen, Roger A.; Schatten, Gerald P. (1998-02-03). Current Topics in Developmental Biology. Academic Press. p. 180. ISBN 978-0-08-058461-4.
  8. Rowell, Roger M.; Rowell, Judith (1996-10-15). Paper and Composites from Agro-Based Resources. CRC Press. p. 49. ISBN 978-1-56670-235-5.
  9. Willmer, Pat (2011-07-05). Pollination and Floral Ecology. Princeton University Press. p. 85. ISBN 978-1-4008-3894-3.
  10. Glover, Beverley (February 2014). Understanding Flowers and Flowering Second Edition. Oxford University Press. p. 139. ISBN 978-0-19-966159-6.
  11. Friedman, Janice; Barrett, Spencer C. H. (January 2009). "The Consequences of Monoecy and Protogyny for Mating in Wind-Pollinated Carex". The New Phytologist. 181 (2): 489–497. doi:10.1111/j.1469-8137.2008.02664.x. JSTOR 30224692. PMID 19121043.
  12. Patiny, Sébastien (2011-12-08). Evolution of Plant-Pollinator Relationships. Cambridge University Press. p. 33. ISBN 978-1-139-50407-2.
  13. Karasawa, Marines Marli Gniech (2015-11-23). Reproductive Diversity of Plants: An Evolutionary Perspective and Genetic Basis. Springer. p. 28. ISBN 978-3-319-21254-8.
  14. Pessarakli, Mohammad (2016-02-22). Handbook of Cucurbits: Growth, Cultural Practices, and Physiology. CRC Press. p. 171. ISBN 978-1-4822-3459-6.
  15. Prohens-Tomás, Jaime; Nuez, Fernando (2007-12-06). Vegetables I: Asteraceae, Brassicaceae, Chenopodicaceae, and Cucurbitaceae. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 390. ISBN 978-0-387-30443-4.
  16. Webster, G. L. (2014). "Euphorbiaceae". In Kubitzki, Klaus (ed.). The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants - Volume XI - Flowering Plants, Eudicots - Malpighiales. Heidelberg: Springer. pp. 51–216/x+331. ISBN 978-3-642-39416-4. OCLC 868922400. ISBN 978-3-642-39417-1. ISBN 3642394167.
  17. Bahadur, Bir; Sujatha, Mulpuri; Carels, Nicolas (2012-12-14). Jatropha, Challenges for a New Energy Crop: Volume 2: Genetic Improvement and Biotechnology. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 27. ISBN 978-1-4614-4915-7.
  18. Volz, Stefanie M.; Renner, Susanne S. (2008). "Hybridization, polyploidy and evolutionary transitions between monoecy and dioecy in Bryonia (Cucurbitaceae)". American Journal of Botany. 95 (10): 1297–1306. doi:10.3732/ajb.0800187. PMID 21632334.
  19. Núñez-Farfán, Juan; Valverde, Pedro Luis (2020-07-30). Evolutionary Ecology of Plant-Herbivore Interaction. Springer Nature. p. 177. ISBN 978-3-030-46012-9.
  20. Das, Saubhik (2016-07-25). Amaranthus: A Promising Crop of Future. Springer. ISBN 978-981-10-1469-7.
  22. Avise, John (2011-03-15). Hermaphroditism: A Primer on the Biology, Ecology, and Evolution of Dual Sexuality. Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-15386-7.
  23. Leonard, Janet L. (2019-05-21). Transitions Between Sexual Systems: Understanding the Mechanisms of, and Pathways Between, Dioecy, Hermaphroditism and Other Sexual Systems. Springer. ISBN 978-3-319-94139-4.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.