Search tips
Search criteria

Results 1-25 (305331)

Clipboard (0)

Related Articles

1.  Labellar Micromorphology of Two Euglossine-pollinated Orchid Genera; Scuticaria Lindl. and Dichaea Lindl. 
Annals of Botany  2008;102(5):805-824.
Background and Aims
Until recently, there was no consensus regarding the phylogenetic relationships of the Neotropical orchid genera Scuticaria Lindl. and Dichaea Lindl. However, recent evidence derived from both gross morphological and molecular studies supports the inclusion of Scuticaria and Dichaea in sub-tribes Maxillariinae and Zygopetalinae, respectively. The present paper describes the labellar micromorphology of both genera and seeks to establish whether labellar characters support the assignment of Scuticaria and Dichaea to these sub-tribes.
The labella of four species of Scuticaria and 14 species of Dichaea were examined using light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy, and their micromorphology was compared with that of representative species of Maxillariinae sensu lato and Zygopetalinae (Huntleya clade).
Key Results and Conclusions
In most specimens of Scuticaria examined, the papillose labella bear uniseriate, multicellular, unbranched trichomes. However, in S. steelii (Lindl.) Lindl., branched hairs may also be present and some trichomes may fragment and form pseudopollen. Multicellular, leaf-like scales were also present in one species of Scuticaria. Similar, unbranched hairs are present in certain species of Maxillaria Ruiz & Pav. (Maxillariinae sensu stricto) and Chaubardia Rchb.f. (Huntleya clade). As yet, moniliform, pseudopollen-forming hairs have not been observed for Zygopetalinae, but their presence in Scuticaria steelii, Maxillaria and Heterotaxis Lindl. supports the placing of Scuticaria in Maxillariinae. As other genera are sampled, the presence of branched hairs, hitherto unknown for Maxillariinae sensu lato, may prove to be a useful character in taxonomy and phylogenetic studies. Euglossophily occurs in Dichaea, as well as Chondrorhyncha Lindl. and Pescatorea Rchb.f. (Huntleya clade), and all three genera tend to lack distinctive labellar features. Instead, lip micromorphology is relatively simple and glabrous or papillose. However, two of the Dichaea species examined bear unicellular, labellar trichomes very similar to those found in Bifrenaria Lindl. (pollinated by both euglossine bees and Bombus spp.), and this feature may have arisen by convergence in response to similar pollination pressures.
PMCID: PMC2712378  PMID: 18765439
Bifrenaria; Bifrenaria clade; Chaubardia; Chondrorhyncha; Dichaea; Dichaeinae; Heterotaxis; Huntleya clade; Huntleyinae; labellum; Maxillaria; Maxillariinae; papillae; Pescatorea; scales; Scuticaria; trichomes; Zygopetalinae
2.  Labellar Micromorphology of Bifrenariinae Dressler (Orchidaceae) 
Annals of Botany  2006;98(6):1215-1231.
• Background and Aims The two closely related subtribes Bifrenariinae Dressler and Maxillariinae Benth. are easily distinguished on morphological grounds. Recently, however, molecular techniques have supported the inclusion of Bifrenariinae within a more broadly defined Maxillariinae. The present paper describes the diverse labellar micromorphology found amongst representatives of Bifrenariinae (Bifrenaria Lindl., Rudolfiella Hoehne, Teuscheria Garay and Xylobium Lindl.) and compares it with that found in Maxillaria Pabst & Dungs and Mormolyca Fenzl (Maxillariinae).
• Methods The labella of 35 specimens representing 22 species of Bifrenariinae were examined by means of light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy and their micromorphology compared with that of Maxillaria sensu stricto and Mormolyca spp. The labellar epidermis of representatives of Bifrenaria, Xylobium and Mormolyca was tested for protein, starch and lipids in order to ascertain whether this tissue is involved in the rewarding of pollinators.
• Key Results and Conclusions The labella of Bifrenaria spp. and Mormolyca spp. are densely pubescent but those of Xylobium, Teuscheria and Rudolfiella are generally papillose. However, whereas the trichomes of Bifrenaria and Mormolyca are unicellular, those found in the other three genera are multicellular. Hitherto, no unicellular trichomes have been described for Maxillaria, although the labella of a number of species secrete a viscid substance or bear moniliform, pseudopollen-producing hairs. Moniliform hairs and secretory material also occur in certain species of Xylobium and Teuscheria and these genera, together with Maxillaria, are thought to be pollinated by stingless bees (Meliponini). Differences in the labellar micromorphology of Bifrenaria and Mormolyca are perhaps related to Euglossine- and/ or bumble bee-mediated pollination and pseudocopulation, respectively. Although Xylobium and Teuscheria share a number of labellar features with Maxillaria sensu stricto, this does not necessarily reflect taxonomic relationships but may be indicative of convergence in response to similar pollinator pressures.
PMCID: PMC2803581  PMID: 17008352
Bifrenaria; Bifrenariinae; Maxillaria; Maxillariinae; Meliponini; papillae; pollination; pseudopollen; Rudolfiella; Teuscheria; trichomes; Xylobium
3.  Micromorphology of the Labellum and Floral Spur of Cryptocentrum Benth. and Sepalosaccus Schltr. (Maxillariinae: Orchidaceae) 
Annals of Botany  2007;100(4):797-805.
Background and Aims
Gross vegetative and floral morphology, as well as modern molecular techniques, indicate that Cryptocentrum Benth. and Sepalosaccus Schltr. are related to Maxillaria Ruiz & Pav. However, they differ from Maxillaria in their possession of floral spurs and, in this respect, are atypical of Maxillariinae. The labellar micromorphology of Maxillaria, unlike that of the other two genera, has been extensively studied. In the present report, the labellar micromorphology of Cryptocentrum and Sepalosaccus is compared with that of Maxillaria and, for the first time, the micromorphology of the floral spur as found in Maxillariinae is described.
Labella and dissected floral spurs of Cryptocentrum and Sepalosaccus were examined using light microscopy (LM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM).
Key Results
In each case, the labellum consists of a papillose mid-lobe (epichile), a cymbiform region (hypochile) and, proximally, a spur, which is pronounced in Cryptocentrum but short and blunt in Sepalosaccus. The inner epidermal surface of the spur of Cryptocentrum is glabrous or pubescent, and the bicellular hairs, where present, are unlike any hitherto described for Maxillariinae. Similar but unicellular hairs also occur in the floral spur of Sepalosaccus, whereas the glabrous epidermis lining the spur of C. peruvianum contains putative nectar pores.
The labellar micromorphology of Cryptocentrum and Sepalosaccus generally resembles that of Maxillaria. The floral spur of Cryptocentrum displays two types of organization in that the epidermal lining may be glabrous (possibly with nectar pores) or pubescent. This may have taxonomic significance and perhaps reflects physiological differences relating to nectar secretion. The trichomes found within the spurs of Cryptocentrum and Sepalosaccus more closely resemble the hairs of certain unrelated, nectariferous orchid taxa than those found in the largely nectarless genus Maxillaria, and this further supports the case for parallelism.
PMCID: PMC2749631  PMID: 17686763
Labellum; Maxillariinae; micromorphology; nectar pore; nectary; spur; trichome
4.  Floral elaiophore structure in four representatives of the Ornithocephalus clade (Orchidaceae: Oncidiinae) 
Annals of Botany  2012;110(4):809-820.
Background and Aims
A significant number of species assigned to the Neotropical orchid sub-tribe Oncidiinae reward insect pollinators with oil produced in floral glands termed elaiophores. The latter may be glabrous (epithelial elaiophores) or hirsute (trichomal elaiophores). Although the detailed anatomy and ultrastructure of epithelial elaiophores have been studied for a number of genera, such as Oncidium Sw., Gomesa R. Br. and Trichocentrum Poepp. & Endl., hitherto, trichomal elaiophores have been investigated only for a single species of Oncidiinae, Ornithocephalus ciliatus Lindl. Furthermore, this is the only representative of the Ornithocephalus clade to be investigated to date. Here, an examination is made of the elaiophore anatomy and ultrastructure of a further four species currently assigned to this clade (Ornithocephalus gladiatus Hook., Phymatidium falcifolium Lindl., Zygostates grandiflora (Lindl.) Mansf. and Zygostates lunata Lindl.) and the results compared with those obtained for other Oncidiinae.
Elaiophore structure was examined for all species at three stages of flower development: closed bud, first day of anthesis and final stage of anthesis, using light microscopy, fluorescence microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy and histochemistry.
Key Results
Elaiophores of O. gladiatus occur upon the lateral lobes of the labellum and display characters intermediate between those of typical epithelial and trichomal elaiophores, in that they are largely glabrous, consisting mainly of cuboidal epidermal cells, but bear short, unicellular hairs proximally. By contrast, the elaiophores of all the other species investigated occur on the callus and are of the trichomal type. In P. falcifolium, these unicellular hairs are capitate. In all species, oil secretion commenced at the closed floral bud stage. Ultrastructurally, the mainly trichomal elaiophores of the four representatives of the Ornithocephalus clade closely resembled the epithelial elaiophores of other Oncidiinae, in that their cells displayed an organelle complement typical of lipid-secreting cells. However, in some taxa, a number of noteworthy characters were present. For example, the elaiophore cuticle of O. gladiatus and P. falcifolium was bi-layered, the outer layer being lamellate, the inner reticulate. The cuticle of Z. grandiflora and Z. lunata was also lamellate, but here, a reticulate layer was absent. Accumulation of secreted oil resulted in the localized distension of the cuticle. Cuticular cracks and pores, however, were absent from all species. The walls of the secretory cells of Z. grandiflora were also atypical in that they had short protuberances or ingrowths, and contained cavities which are thought to be involved in the secretory process.
Of the species investigated, most displayed similar anatomical organization, their trichomal elaiophores occurring on the labellar callus. They, thus, differ from many other members of the Oncidiinae, where epithelial elaiophores are found either on the callus, or on the lateral lobes of the labellum. However, ultrastructurally, all elaiophores, whether those of representatives of the Ornithocephalus clade, or those of other oil-secreting Oncidiinae, possessed a similar complement of organelles, regardless of whether the elaiophores were trichomal or epithelial. In view of the latter, and the similar chemical composition of oils derived from all Oncidiinae investigated to date, it is probable that position and type of elaiophore, and possibly the structure of the overlying cuticle, play an important role in pollinator selection in these oil-secreting orchids.
PMCID: PMC3423815  PMID: 22805528
Anatomy; elaiophore; histochemistry; lipid secretion; micromorphology; oil glands; Oncidiinae; trichome; ultrastructure
5.  Pollinarium Morphology and Floral Rewards inBrazilian Maxillariinae (Orchidaceae) 
Annals of Botany  2004;93(1):39-51.
• Background and Aims There is strong support for the monophyly of the orchid subtribe Maxillariinae s.l., yet generic boundaries within it are unsatisfactory and need re‐evaluation. In an effort to assemble sets of morphological characters to distinguish major clades within this subtribe, the pollinarium morphology and floral rewards of representative Brazilian species of this subtribe were studied.
• Methods The study was based on fresh material from 60 species and seven genera obtained from cultivated specimens. Variation of pollinarium structure and floral rewards was assessed using a stereomicroscope and by SEM analysis.
• Key Results Four morphological types of pollinaria are described. Type 1 appears to be the most widespread and is characterized by a well‐developed tegula. Type 2 lacks a stipe and the pollinia are attached directly to the viscidium. Type 3 also lacks a stipe, and the viscidium is rigid and dark. In Type 4, the stipe consists of the whole median rostelar portion and, so far, is known only from Maxillaria uncata. Nectar, trichomes, wax‐like and resin‐like secretions are described as flower rewards for different groups of species within the genus Maxillaria. Data on the biomechanics and pollination biology are also discussed and illustrated. In Maxillariinae flowers with arcuate viscidia, the pollinaria are deposited on the scuttellum of their Hymenopteran pollinators. In contrast, some flowers with rounded to rectangular, pad‐like viscidia fix their pollinaria on the face of their pollinators.
• Conclusions Pollinarium morphology and floral features related to pollination in Brazilian Maxillariinae are more diverse than previously suggested. It is hoped that the data presented herein, together with other data sources such as vegetative traits and molecular tools, will be helpful in redefining and diagnosing clades within the subtribe Maxillariinae.
PMCID: PMC4242263  PMID: 14644913
Bifrenaria; flower morphology; Hylaeorchis; Maxillaria; Maxillariinae; Mormolyca; Orchidaceae; phylogeny; pollinarium; Scuticaria; Trigonidium; Xylobium
6.  Morphology of Floral Papillae in Maxillaria Ruiz & Pav. (Orchidaceae) 
Annals of Botany  2004;93(1):75-86.
• Background and Aims The labellar papillae and trichomes of Maxillaria Ruiz & Pav. show great diversity. Although papillae also occur upon other parts of the flower (e.g. column and anther cap), these have not yet been studied. Labellar trichomes of Maxillaria are useful in taxonomy, but hitherto the taxonomic value of floral papillae has not been assessed. The aim of this paper is to describe the range of floral papillae found in Maxillaria and to determine whether papillae are useful as taxonomic characters.
• Methods Light microscopy, histochemistry, low‐vacuum scanning and transmission electron microscopy.
• Key Results A total of 75 taxa were studied. Conical papillae with rounded or pointed tips were the most common. The column and anther cap usually bear conical, obpyriform or villiform papillae, whereas those around the stigmatic surface and at the base of the anther are often larger and swollen. Labellar papillae show greater diversity, and may be conical, obpyriform, villiform, fusiform or clavate. Papillae may also occur on multiseriate trichomes that perhaps function as pseudostamens. Labellar papillae contain protein but most lack lipid. The occurrence of starch, however, is more variable. Many papillae contain pigment or act as osmophores, thereby attracting insects. Rewards such as nectar or a protein‐rich, wax‐like, lipoidal substance may be secreted by papillae onto the labellar surface. Some papillae may have a protective role in preventing desiccation. Species of diverse vegetative morphology may have identical floral papillae, whereas others of similar vegetative morphology may not.
• Conclusions Generally, floral papillae in Maxillaria have little taxonomic value. Nevertheless, the absence of papillae from members of the M. cucullata alliance, the occurrence of clavate papillae with distended apices in the M. rufescens alliance and the presence of papillose trichomes in some species may yet prove to be useful.
PMCID: PMC4242261  PMID: 14630691
Anther; column; histochemistry; labellum; low‐vacuum scanning electron microscopy; papillae; pseudopollen; pseudostamen
7.  Exine Micromorphology of Orchidinae (Orchidoideae, Orchidaceae): Phylogenetic Constraints or Ecological Influences? 
Annals of Botany  2006;98(1):237-244.
• Background and Aims Pollen characters have been widely used in defining evolutionary trends in orchids. In recent years, information on pollination biology and phylogenetic patterns within Orchidinae has become available. Hence, the aim of the presented work is to re-evaluate exine micromorphology of Orchidinae in light of recent phylogenetic studies and to test whether pollen micromorphology strictly depends on phylogenetic relationships among species or whether it is influenced by the marked differences in pollination ecology also reported among closely related species.
• Methods Pollen sculpturing of 45 species of Orchidinae and related taxa was investigated using scanning electron microscopy. To cover potential intraspecific variation, several accessions of the same species were examined.
• Key Results Orchidinae show remarkable variation in exine sculpturing, with a different level of variation within species groups. In some genera, such as Serapias (rugulate) and Ophrys (psilate to verrucate), intrageneric uniformity corresponds well to a common pollination strategy and close relationships among species. However, little exine variability (psilate–scabrate and scabrate–rugulate) was also found in the genus Anacamptis in spite of striking differences in floral architecture and pollination strategies. A larger variety of exine conditions was found in genera Dactylorhiza (psilate, psilate–scabrate and reticulate) and Orchis s.s. (psilate, reticulate, perforate–rugulate and baculate) where no unequivocal correspondence can be found to either phylogenetic patterns or pollination strategies.
• Conclusions Changes in pollen characteristics do not consistently reflect shifts in pollination strategy. A unique trend of exine evolution within Orchidinae is difficult to trace. However, the clades comprising Anacamptis, Neotinea, Ophrys and Serapias show psilate to rugulate or scabrate pollen, while that of the clade comprising Chamorchis, Dactylorhiza, Gymnadenia, Orchis s.s., Platanthera, Pseudorchis and Traunsteinera ranges from psilate to reticulate. Comparison of the data with exine micromorphology from members of the tribe Orchidieae and related tribes suggests a possible general trend from reticulate to psilate.
PMCID: PMC2803542  PMID: 16704999
SEM; exine; phylogeny; pollination biology; pollen; orchids
8.  Pseudopollen in Eria Lindl. Section Mycaranthes Rchb.f. (Orchidaceae) 
Annals of Botany  2004;94(5):707-715.
• Background and Aims Pseudopollen is a whitish, mealy material produced upon the labella of a number of orchid species as labellar hairs either become detached or fragment. Since individual hair cells are rich in protein and starch, it has long been speculated that pseudopollen functions as a reward for visiting insects. Although some 90 years have passed since Beck first described pseudopollen for a small number of Eria spp. currently assigned to section Mycaranthes Rchb.f., we still know little about the character of pseudopollen in this taxon. The use of SEM and histochemistry would re-address this deficit in our knowledge whereas comparison of pseudopollen in Eria (S.E. Asia), Maxillaria (tropical and sub-tropical America), Polystachya (largely tropical Africa and Madagascar) and Dendrobium unicum (Thailand and Laos) would perhaps help us to understand better how this feature may have arisen and evolved on a number of different continents.
• Methods Pseudopollen morphology is described using light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. Hairs were tested for starch, lipid and protein using IKI, Sudan III and the xanthoproteic test, respectively.
• Key Results and Conclusions The labellar hairs of all eight representatives of section Mycaranthes examined are identical. They are unicellular, clavate with a narrow ‘stalk’ and contain both protein and starch but no detectable lipid droplets. The protein is distributed throughout the cytoplasm and the starch is confined to amyloplasts. The hairs become detached from the labellar surface and bear raised cuticular ridges and flaky deposits that are presumed to be wax. In that they are unicellular and appear to bear wax distally, the labellar hairs are significantly different from those observed for other orchid species. Comparative morphology indicates that they evolved independently in response to pollinator pressures similar to those experienced by other unrelated pseudopollen-forming orchids on other continents.
PMCID: PMC4242216  PMID: 15451721
Evolution; food-hairs; histochemistry; labellum; light microscopy; papillae; pollinators; pseudopollen; scanning electron microscopy; wax
9.  Floral elaiophores in Lockhartia Hook. (Orchidaceae: Oncidiinae): their distribution, diversity and anatomy 
Annals of Botany  2013;112(9):1775-1791.
Background and Aims
A significant proportion of orchid species assigned to subtribe Oncidiinae produce floral oil as a food reward that attracts specialized bee pollinators. This oil is produced either by glabrous glands (epithelial elaiophores) or by tufts of secretory hairs (trichomal elaiophores). Although the structure of epithelial elaiophores in the Oncidiinae has been well documented, trichomal elaiophores are less common and have not received as much attention. Only trichomal elaiophores occur in the genus Lockhartia, and their distribution and structure are surveyed here for the first time.
Flowers of 16 species of Lockhartia were studied. The location of floral elaiophores was determined histochemically and their anatomical organization and mode of oil secretion was investigated by means of light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy.
Key Results and Conclusions –
All species of Lockhartia investigated have trichomal elaiophores on the adaxial surface of the labellum. Histochemical tests revealed the presence of lipoidal substances within the labellar trichomes. However, the degree of oil production and the distribution of trichomes differed between the three major groups of species found within the genus. All trichomes were unicellular and, in some species, of two distinct sizes, the larger being either capitate or apically branched. The trichomal cuticle was lamellate, and often appeared distended due to the subcuticular accumulation of oil. The labellar trichomes of the three species examined using transmission electron microscopy contained dense, intensely staining cytoplasm with apically located vacuoles. Oil-laden secretory vesicles fused with the plasmalemma and discharged their contents. Oil eventually accumulated between the cell wall and cuticle of the trichome and contained electron-transparent profiles or droplets. This condition is considered unique to Lockhartia among those species of elaiophore-bearing Oncidiinae studied to date.
PMCID: PMC3838557  PMID: 24169595
Anatomy; callus; elaiophore; Lockhartia; oil secretion; Oncidiinae; Orchidaceae; trichomes
10.  Pseudopollen in Dendrobium unicum Seidenf. (Orchidaceae): Reward or Deception? 
Annals of Botany  2004;94(1):129-132.
• Background and Aims In 1987, Kjellsson and Rasmussen described the labellar trichomes of Dendrobium unicum Seidenf. and proposed that these hairs function as pseudopollen. Pseudopollen is a mealy material that superficially resembles pollen, is usually laden with food substances and is formed when labellar hairs either fragment into individual cells or become detached from the labellum. However, the trichomes of D. unicum are very different from pseudopollen‐forming hairs found in other orchid genera such as Maxillaria and Polystachya. Moreover, Kjellsson and Rasmussen were unable to demonstrate the presence of food substances within these trichomes and argued that even in the absence of food substances, the hairs, in that they superficially resemble pollen, can still attract insects by deceit. The aim of this paper is to investigate whether the labellar trichomes of D. unicum contain food reserves and thus reward potential pollinators or whether they are devoid of foods and attract insects solely by mimicry.
• Methods Light microscopy, histochemistry and transmission electron microscopy.
• Key Results Dendrobium unicum produces pseudopollen. Pseudopollen here, however, differs from that previously described for other orchid genera in that the pseudopollen‐forming trichomes consist of a stalk cell and a ‘head’ of component cells that separate at maturity, in contrast to Maxillaria and some Polystachya spp. where pseudopollen is formed by the fragmentation of moniliform hairs. Moreover, the pseudopollen of Maxillaria and Polystachya largely contains protein, whereas in D. unicum the main food substance is starch.
• Conclusions Flowers of D. unicum, rather than attracting insects solely by deceit may also reward potential pollinators.
PMCID: PMC4242374  PMID: 15159216
Amyloplast; deception; histochemistry; mimicry; protein; pseudopollen; reward; starch; transmission electron microscopy; trichome
11.  Comparative histology of floral elaiophores in the orchids Rudolfiella picta (Schltr.) Hoehne (Maxillariinae sensu lato) and Oncidium ornithorhynchum H.B.K. (Oncidiinae sensu lato) 
Annals of Botany  2009;104(2):221-234.
Background and Aims
Floral elaiophores, although widespread amongst orchids, have not previously been described for Maxillariinae sensu lato. Here, two claims that epithelial, floral elaiophores occur in the genus Rudolfiella Hoehne (Bifrenaria clade) are investigated. Presumed elaiophores were compared with those of Oncidiinae Benth. and the floral, resin-secreting tissues of Rhetinantha M.A. Blanco and Heterotaxis Lindl., both genera formerly assigned to Maxillaria Ruiz & Pav. (Maxillariinae sensu stricto).
Putative, floral elaiophore tissue of Rudolfiella picta (Schltr.) Hoehne and floral elaiophores of Oncidium ornithorhynchum H.B.K. were examined by means of light microscopy, histochemistry, scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy.
Key Results and Conclusions
Floral, epithelial elaiophores are present in Rudolfiella picta, indicating, for the first time, that oil secretion occurs amongst members of the Bifrenaria clade (Maxillariinae sensu lato). However, whereas the elaiophore of R. picta is borne upon the labellar callus, the elaiophores of O. ornithorhynchum occur on the lateral lobes of the labellum. In both species, the elaiophore comprises a single layer of palisade secretory cells and parenchymatous, subsecretory tissue. Cell wall cavities are absent from both and there is no evidence of cuticular distension in response to oil accumulation between the outer tangential wall and the overlying cuticle in R. picta. Distension of the cuticle, however, occurs in O. ornithorhynchum. Secretory cells of R. picta contain characteristic, spherical or oval plastids with abundant plastoglobuli and these more closely resemble plastids found in labellar, secretory cells of representatives of Rhetinantha (formerly Maxillaria acuminata Lindl. alliance) than elaiophore plastids of Oncidiinae. In Rhetinantha, such plastids are involved in the synthesis of resin-like material or wax. Despite these differences, the elaiophore anatomy of both R. picta (Bifrenaria clade) and O. ornithorhynchum (Oncidiinae) fundamentally resembles that of several representatives of Oncidiinae. These, in their possession of palisade secretory cells, in turn, resemble the floral elaiophores of certain members of Malpighiaceae, indicating that convergence has occurred here in response to similar pollination pressures.
PMCID: PMC2710904  PMID: 19447811
Bifrenaria clade; elaiophore; floral oil; Heterotaxis; Maxillariinae; Oncidiinae; Oncidium ornithorhynchum; Rhetinantha; Rudolfiella picta; secretion
12.  Floral features, pollination biology and breeding system of Chloraea membranacea Lindl. (Orchidaceae: Chloraeinae) 
Annals of Botany  2012;110(8):1607-1621.
Background and Aims
The pollination biology of very few Chloraeinae orchids has been studied to date, and most of these studies have focused on breeding systems and fruiting success. Chloraea membranacea Lindl. is one of the few non-Andean species in this group, and the aim of the present contribution is to elucidate the pollination biology, functional floral morphology and breeding system in native populations of this species from Argentina (Buenos Aires) and Brazil (Rio Grande do Sul State).
Floral features were examined using light microscopy, and scanning and transmission electron microscopy. The breeding system was studied by means of controlled pollinations applied to plants, either bagged in the field or cultivated in a glasshouse. Pollination observations were made on natural populations, and pollinator behaviour was recorded by means of photography and video.
Key Results
Both Argentinean and Brazilian plants were very consistent regarding all studied features. Flowers are nectarless but scented and anatomical analysis indicates that the dark, clavate projections on the adaxial labellar surface are osmophores (scent-producing glands). The plants are self-compatible but pollinator-dependent. The fruit-set obtained through cross-pollination and manual self-pollination was almost identical. The main pollinators are male and female Halictidae bees that withdraw the pollinarium when leaving the flower. Remarkably, the bees tend to visit more than one flower per inflorescence, thus promoting self-pollination (geitonogamy). Fruiting success in Brazilian plants reached 60·78 % in 2010 and 46 % in 2011. Some pollinarium-laden female bees were observed transferring pollen from the carried pollinarium to their hind legs. The use of pollen by pollinators is a rare record for Orchidaceae in general.
Chloraea membrancea is pollinated by deceit. Together, self-compatibility, pollinarium texture, pollinator abundance and behaviour may account for the observed high fruiting success. It is suggested that a reappraisal and re-analysis of important flower features in Chloraeinae orchids is necessary.
PMCID: PMC3503500  PMID: 23071217
Breeding system; Chloraea membrancea; Chloraeinae; Halictidae; Orchidaceae; orchids; pollination
13.  Comparative anatomy of the nectary spur in selected species of Aeridinae (Orchidaceae) 
Annals of Botany  2010;107(3):327-345.
Background and Aims
To date, the structure of the nectary spur of Aeridinae has not been studied in detail, and data relating to the nectaries of ornithophilous orchids remain scarce. The present paper compares the structural organization of the floral nectary in a range of Aeridinae species, including both entomophilous and ornithophilous taxa.
Nectary spurs of Ascocentrum ampullaceum (Roxb.) Schltr. var. aurantiacum Pradhan, A. curvifolium (Lindl.) Schltr., A. garayi Christenson, Papilionanthe vandarum (Rchb.f.) Garay, Schoenorchis gemmata (Lindl.) J.J. Sm., Sedirea japonica (Rchb.f.) Garay & H.R. Sweet and Stereochilus dalatensis (Guillaumin) Garay were examined by means of light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy.
Key Results and Conclusions
The diverse anatomy of the nectary is described for a range of Aeridinae species. All species of Ascocentrum investigated displayed features characteristic of ornithophilous taxa. They have weakly zygomorphic, scentless, red or orange flowers, display diurnal anthesis, possess cryptic anther caps and produce nectar that is secluded in a relatively massive nectary spur. Unicellular, secretory hairs line the lumen at the middle part of the spur. Generally, however, with the exception of Papilionanthe vandarum, the nectary spurs of all entomophilous species studied here (Schoenorchis gemmata, Sedirea japonica, Stereochilus dalatensis) lack secretory trichomes. Moreover, collenchymatous secretory tissue, present only in the nectary spur of Asiatic Ascocentrum species, closely resembles that found in nectaries of certain Neotropical species that are hummingbird-pollinated and assigned to subtribes Maxillariinae Benth., Laeliinae Benth. and Oncidiinae Benth. This similarity in anatomical organization of the nectary, regardless of geographical distribution and phylogeny, indicates convergence.
PMCID: PMC3043926  PMID: 21183455
Aeridinae; collenchyma; entomophily; floral anatomy; micromorphology; nectar; nectary spur; Orchidaceae; ornithophily; trichomes
14.  Molecular phylogenetics and the evolution of fruit and leaf morphology of Dichaea (Orchidaceae: Zygopetalinae) 
Annals of Botany  2009;104(3):457-467.
Background and Aims
The orchid genus Dichaea, with over 100 species found throughout the neotropics, is easily recognized by distichous leaves on long stems without pseudobulbs and flowers with infrastigmatic ligules. The genus has previously been divided into four sections based primarily on presence of ovary bristles and a foliar abscission layer. The aim of this work is to use DNA sequence data to estimate phylogenetic relationships within Dichaea and map the distribution of major morphological characters that have been used to delimit subgenera/sections.
Sequence data for the nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacers and plastid matK, trnL intron, trnL-F spacer and ycf1 for 67 ingroup and seven outgroup operational taxonomic units were used to estimate phylogenetic relationships within Dichaea. Taxa from each of the four sections were sampled, with the greatest representation from section Dichaea, the most diverse and taxonomically puzzling group.
Key Results
Molecular data and morphology support monophyly of Dichaea. Results indicate that section Dichaeopsis is polyphyletic and based on symplesiomorphies, including deciduous leaves and smooth ovaries that are widespread in Zygopetalinae. There are at least three well-supported clades within section Dichaeopsis. Section Pseudodichaea is monophyletic and defined by setose ovaries and leaves with an abscission layer. Sections Dichaea and Dichaeastrum are monophyletic and defined by pendent habit and persistent leaves. Section Dichaeastrum, distinguished from section Dichaea primarily by a glabrous ovary, is potentially polyphyletic.
The leaf abscission layer was lost once, occurring only in the derived sections Dichaea and Dichaeastrum. The setose fruit is a more homoplasious character with several losses and gains within the genus. We propose an informal division of the genus based upon five well-supported clades.
PMCID: PMC2720659  PMID: 19181747
Dichaea; matK; nrITS; Orchidaceae; trnL intron; trnL-F spacer; ycf1; Zygopetalinae
15.  Radiation of Pollination Systems in the Iridaceae of sub-Saharan Africa 
Annals of Botany  2006;97(3):317-344.
• Background Seventeen distinct pollination systems are known for genera of sub-Saharan African Iridaceae and recurrent shifts in pollination system have evolved in those with ten or more species. Pollination by long-tongued anthophorine bees foraging for nectar and coincidentally acquiring pollen on some part of their bodies is the inferred ancestral pollination strategy for most genera of the large subfamilies Iridoideae and Crocoideae and may be ancestral for the latter. Derived strategies include pollination by long-proboscid flies, large butterflies, night-flying hovering and settling moths, hopliine beetles and sunbirds. Bee pollination is diverse, with active pollen collection by female bees occurring in several genera, vibratile systems in a few and non-volatile oil as a reward in one species. Long-proboscid fly pollination, which is apparently restricted to southern Africa, includes four separate syndromes using different sets of flies and plant species in different parts of the subcontinent. Small numbers of species use bibionid flies, short-proboscid flies or wasps for their pollination; only about 2 % of species use multiple pollinators and can be described as generalists.
• Scope Using pollination observations for 375 species and based on repeated patterns of floral attractants and rewards, we infer pollination mechanisms for an additional 610 species. Matching pollination system to phylogeny or what is known about species relationships based on shared derived features, we infer repeated shifts in pollination system in some genera, as frequently as one shift for every five or six species of southern African Babiana or Gladiolus. Specialized systems using pollinators of one pollination group, or even a single pollinator species are the rule in the family. Shifts in pollination system are more frequent in genera of Crocoideae that have bilaterally symmetric flowers and a perianth tube, features that promote adaptive radiation by facilitating precise shifts in pollen placement, in conjunction with changes in flower colour, scent and tube length.
• Conclusions Diversity of pollination systems explains in part the huge species diversity of Iridaceae in sub-Saharan Africa, and permits species packing locally. Pollination shifts are, however, seen as playing a secondary role in speciation by promoting reproductive isolation in peripheral, ecologically distinct populations in areas of diverse topography, climate and soils. Pollination of Iridaceae in Eurasia and the New World, where the family is also well represented, is poorly studied but appears less diverse, although pollination by both pollen- and oil-collecting bees is frequent and bird pollination rare.
PMCID: PMC2803647  PMID: 16377653
Floral form; fragrance chemistry; guilds; keystone species; nectar chemistry; Coleoptera; Hymenoptera; Lepidoptera; Nectarinia
16.  Evolution of petal epidermal micromorphology in Leguminosae and its use as a marker of petal identity 
Annals of Botany  2009;104(6):1099-1110.
Background and Aims
The legume flower is highly variable in symmetry and differentiation of petal types. Most papilionoid flowers are zygomorphic with three types of petals: one dorsal, two lateral and two ventral petals. Mimosoids have radial flowers with reduced petals while caesalpinioids display a range from strongly zygomorphic to nearly radial symmetry. The aims are to characterize the petal micromorphology relative to flower morphology and evolution within the family and assess its use as a marker of petal identity (whether dorsal, lateral or ventral) as determined by the expression of developmental genes.
Petals were analysed using the scanning electron microscope and light microscope. A total of 175 species were studied representing 26 tribes and 89 genera in all three subfamilies of the Leguminosae.
Key Results
The papilionoids have the highest degree of variation of epidermal types along the dorsiventral axis within the flower. In Loteae and genistoids, in particular, it is common for each petal type to have a different major epidermal micromorphology. Papillose conical cells are mainly found on dorsal and lateral petals. Tabular rugose cells are mainly found on lateral petals and tabular flat cells are found only in ventral petals. Caesalpinioids lack strong micromorphological variation along this axis and usually have only a single major epidermal type within a flower, although the type maybe either tabular rugose cells, papillose conical cells or papillose knobby rugose cells, depending on the species.
Strong micromorphological variation between different petals in the flower is exclusive to the subfamily Papilionoideae. Both major and minor epidermal types can be used as micromorphological markers of petal identity, at least in papilionoids, and they are important characters of flower evolution in the whole family. The molecular developmental pathway between specific epidermal micromorphology and the expression of petal identity genes has yet to be established.
PMCID: PMC2766202  PMID: 19789174
Epidermis; Fabaceae; Papilionoideae; Caesalpinioideae; Mimosoideae; petal surface; scanning electron microscopy; papillose conical cells; tabular rugose cells; tabular flat cells; organ identity
17.  Trichome structure and evolution in Neotropical lianas 
Annals of Botany  2013;112(7):1331-1350.
Background and Aims
Trichomes are epidermal outgrowths generally associated with protection against herbivores and/or desiccation that are widely distributed from ferns to angiosperms. Patterns of topological variation and morphological evolution of trichomes are still scarce in the literature, preventing valid comparisons across taxa. This study integrates detailed morphoanatomical data and the evolutionary history of the tribe Bignonieae (Bignoniaceae) in order to gain a better understanding of current diversity and evolution of trichome types.
Two sampling schemes were used to characterize trichome types: (1) macromorphological characterization of all 105 species currently included in Bignonieae; and (2) micromorphological characterization of 16 selected species. Individual trichome morphotypes were coded as binary in each vegetative plant part, and trichome density and size were coded as multistate. Ancestral character state reconstructions were conducted using maximum likelihood (ML) assumptions.
Key Results
Two main functional trichome categories were found: non-glandular and glandular. In glandular trichomes, three morphotypes were recognized: peltate (Pg), stipitate (Sg) and patelliform/cupular (P/Cg) trichomes. Non-glandular trichomes were uniseriate, uni- or multicellular and simple or branched. Pg and P/Cg trichomes were multicellular and non-vascularized with three clearly distinct cell layers. Sg trichomes were multicellular, uniseriate and long-stalked. ML ancestral character state reconstructions suggested that the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) of Bignonieae probably had non-glandular, Pg and P/Cg trichomes, with each trichome type presenting alternative histories of appearance on the different plant parts. For example, the MRCA of Bignonieae probably had non-glandular trichomes on the stems, prophylls, petiole, petiolule and leaflet veins while P/Cg trichomes were restricted to leaflet blades. Sg trichomes were not present in the MRCA of Bignonieae independently of the position of these trichomes. These trichomes had at least eight independent origins in tribe.
The patterns of trichome evolution indicate that most morphotypes are probably homologous in Bignonieae and could be treated under the same name based on its morphological similarity and common evolutionary history, in spite of the plethora of names that have been previously designated in the literature. The trichome descriptions presented here will facilitate comparisons across taxa, allowing inferences on the relationsthips between trichome variants and future studies about their functional properties.
PMCID: PMC3806532  PMID: 24081281
Bignoniaceae; Brazil; EFNs; extrafloral nectaries; glands; insect–plant interactions; morphological evolution; trichomes; vines
18.  Comparative anatomy of the floral elaiophore in representatives of the newly re-circumscribed Gomesa and Oncidium clades (Orchidaceae: Oncidiinae) 
Annals of Botany  2013;112(5):839-854.
Background and Aims
Recently, molecular approaches have been used to investigate the phylogeny of Oncidiinae. This has resulted in the transfer of taxa previously considered to be species of Oncidium Sw. into Gomesa R. Br. and the re-circumscription of both genera. In this study, the structure of the floral elaiophore (oil gland) is described and compared for Gomesa echinata (Barb. Rodr.) M.W. Chase & N.H. Williams, G. ranifera (Lindl.) M.W. Chase & N.H. Williams, Oncidium amazonicum (Schltr.) M.W. Chase & N.H. Williams and O. oxyceras (Königer & J.G. Weinm.) M.W. Chase & N.H. Williams in order to determine whether phylogenetic revision is supported by differences in its anatomy.
The floral elaiophore structure was examined and compared at three developmental stages (closed bud, first day of anthesis and final stage of anthesis) for all four species using light microscopy, fluorescence microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy and histochemistry.
Key results
In all species investigated, the floral elaiophore occurs on the labellar callus and is of the epithelial type, comprising cuboidal to palisade-like, secretory epidermal cells and a layer of sub-epidermal cells, both tissues enclosing ground parenchyma supplied with collateral vascular bundles and containing idioblasts, often with raphides or phenolic contents. A bi-layered cuticle comprising an outer, lamellate and an inner, reticulate layer is present, and sub-cuticular accumulation of secreted material results in distension of the cuticle. Secretion-filled cavities are present at anthesis in the elaiophore cell walls and, in most species, the outer, tangential walls of the elaiophore have small, peg-like projections that protrude into the cytoplasm. In all taxa examined, the elaiophore organelle complement, especially the smooth endoplasmic reticulum (SER), is typical of lipid-secreting cells.
In terms of location, morphology, anatomy and ultrastructure, the floral elaiophores of both Gomesa and Oncidium species examined are very similar, and distinction between these genera is not possible based on elaiophore features alone. Furthermore, many of these elaiophore characters are shared with representatives of other clades of Oncidiinae, including the Ornithocephalus clade. Consequently, elaiophores are considered homoplasious and of limited value in investigating the phylogeny of this subtribe.
PMCID: PMC3747802  PMID: 23884394
Anatomy; elaiophore; lipid secretion; micromorphology; oil glands; Oncidiinae; ultrastructure
19.  Pseudopollen and Food‐hair Diversity in Polystachya Hook. (Orchidaceae) 
Annals of Botany  2002;90(4):477-484.
Labellar food‐hairs in Polystachya Hook. exhibit considerable morphological diversity. The commonest type of trichome is uniseriate, two to four‐celled, with a clavate or subclavate terminal cell. This type occurs amongst representatives of most sections examined. Other trichomes are bristle‐like with tapering or fusiform terminal cells, whereas representatives of section Polystachya have uniseriate, moniliform trichomes that fragment with the formation of rounded or elliptical component cells. Most contain protein and, while some contain starch, lipid is invariably absent. The presence of particular types of labellar trichomes does not coincide with variations in vegetative morphology. Thus, current taxonomic treatment of the genus indicates that trichome types, with perhaps the sole exception of moniliform, pseudopollen‐forming hairs found in section Polystachya only, have limited taxonomic value. However, the remarkable similarity between pseudopollen‐forming hairs of Polystachya and those of the Neotropical genus Maxillaria in terms of morphology, cellular dimensions and food content indicates that pseudopollen may have arisen several times and evolved in response to similar pollinator pressures.
PMCID: PMC4240386  PMID: 12324271
Histochemistry; taxonomy; low‐vacuum scanning electron microscopy; pollination; trichomes
20.  On ‘various contrivances’: pollination, phylogeny and flower form in the Solanaceae 
Members of the euasterid angiosperm family Solanaceae have been characterized as remarkably diverse in terms of flower morphology and pollinator type. In order to test the relative contribution of phylogeny to the pattern of distribution of floral characters related to pollination, flower form and pollinators have been mapped onto a molecular phylogeny of the family. Bilateral flower symmetry (zygomorphy) is prevalent in the basal grades of the family, and more derived clades have flowers that are largely radially symmetric, with some parallel evolution of floral bilateralism. Pollinator types (‘syndromes’) are extremely homoplastic in the family, but members of subfamily Solanoideae are exceptional in being largely bee pollinated. Pollinator relationships in those genera where they have been investigated more fully are not as specific as flower morphology and the classical pollinator syndrome models might suggest, and more detailed studies in some particularly variable genera, such as Iochroma and Nicotiana, are key to understanding the role of pollinators in floral evolution and adaptive radiation in the family. More studies of pollinators in the field are a priority.
PMCID: PMC2838263  PMID: 20047871
adaptive radiation; flower morphology; phylogeny; Solanaceae; pollination syndrome; homoplasy
21.  Sexual Mimicry in Mormolyca ringens (Lindl.) Schltr. (Orchidaceae: Maxillariinae) 
Annals of Botany  2004;93(6):755-762.
• Background and Aims Pollination through sexual mimicry, also known as pseudocopulation, has been suggested to occur in some genera of the Neotropical orchid subtribe Maxillariinae. However, it has been demonstrated so far only for Trigonidium obtusum. This study reports and illustrates pollination through sexual mimicry in Mormolyca ringens.
• Methods A total of 70 h were dedicated to the observation of flowers and pollinator behaviour, which was photographically recorded. Flower features involved in pollinator attraction were studied using a stereomicroscope and by SEM analyses. Preliminary observations on the plant breeding system were made by manually self‐pollinating flowers. The chemical composition of the fragrance volatiles was determined by GC/MS analysis.
• Key Results The flower features of M. ringens parallel those of other pseudocopulatory flowers. The labellum shape and indument are reminiscent of an insect. Sexually excited drones of Nannotrigona testaceicornis and Scaptotrigona sp. (both in the Apidae: Meliponini) attempt copulation with the labellum and pollinate the flower in the process. In both bee species, the pollinarium is attached to the scutellum. Pollinator behaviour may promote some degree of self‐pollination, but preliminary observations indicate that M. ringens flowers are self‐incompatible. Flowers are produced all the year round, which ties in with the production of bee males several times a year. The phylogenetic relationships of M. ringens are discussed and a number of morphological and phenological features supporting them are reported.
• Conclusions It is expected that further research could bring to light whether other Maxillariinae species are also pollinated through sexual mimicry. When a definitive and robust phylogeny of this subtribe is available, it should be possible to determine how many times pseudocopulation evolved and its possible evolutionary history.
PMCID: PMC4242296  PMID: 15051623
Maxillariinae; Mormolyca; Maxillaria; Orchidaceae; pollination; pseudocopulation; sexual mimicry; Meliponini
22.  Pollination Biology of Jacaranda oxyphylla with an Emphasis on Staminode Function 
Annals of Botany  2008;102(5):699-711.
Background and Aims
Bignoniaceae is a Neotropical family with >100 genera, only two of which, Jacaranda and Digomphia, have a developed staminode. Jacaranda oxyphylla, whose flowers possess a conspicuous glandular staminode, is a zoophilous cerrado species. Here, the composition of the secretion of the glandular trichome and the influence of the staminode on the pollination biology and reproductive success of J. oxyphylla were studied.
The floral morphology, pollen viability, stigma receptivity, nectar volume and nectar concentration were studied. Compatibility system experiments were performed and floral visitors were observed and identified. Experiments comparing the effect of staminode presence and absence on pollen removal and pollen deposition efficiency were conducted in open-pollinated flowers. Histochemistry, thin-layer chromatography (TLC) and gas chromatography coupled to flame ionization detection (GC–FID) analyses were performed to determine the main chemical components of the staminode's glandular trichome secretion.
Key Results
Flower anthesis lasted 2 d and, despite the low frequency of flower visitation, pollination seemed to be effected mainly by medium-sized Eulaema nigrita and Bombus morio bees, by the small bee Exomalopsis fulvofasciata and occasionally by hummingbirds. Small bees belonging to the genera Ceratina, Augochlora and Trigona were frequent visitors, collecting pollen. Jacaranda oxyphylla is predominantly allogamous. Staminode removal resulted in fewer pollen grains deposited on stigmas but did not affect total pollen removal. The secretion of capitate glandular trichome occurs continually; the main chemical compounds detected histochemically were phenolic and terpenoid (essential oils and resins). Monoterpene cineole, pentacyclic triterpenes and steroids were identified by TLC and GC–FID.
The staminode of J. oxyphyllla is multifunctional and its importance for female reproductive success was attributed mainly to the secretion produced by capitate glandular trichomes. This secretion is involved in complex chemical interactions with pollinating bees, including the solitary bees Euglossini. These bees are common pollinators of various species of Jacaranda.
PMCID: PMC2712375  PMID: 18765441
Bignoniaceae; Jacaranda oxyphylla; pollination; bee; staminode; glandular trichomes; reproductive success; terpenes; steroids; phenolics
23.  The evolution of bat pollination: a phylogenetic perspective 
Annals of Botany  2009;104(6):1017-1043.
Most tropical and subtropical plants are biotically pollinated, and insects are the major pollinators. A small but ecologically and economically important group of plants classified in 28 orders, 67 families and about 528 species of angiosperms are pollinated by nectar-feeding bats. From a phylogenetic perspective this is a derived pollination mode involving a relatively large and energetically expensive pollinator. Here its ecological and evolutionary consequences are explored.
Scope and Conclusions
This review summarizes adaptations in bats and plants that facilitate this interaction and discusses the evolution of bat pollination from a plant phylogenetic perspective. Two families of bats contain specialized flower visitors, one in the Old World and one in the New World. Adaptation to pollination by bats has evolved independently many times from a variety of ancestral conditions, including insect-, bird- and non-volant mammal-pollination. Bat pollination predominates in very few families but is relatively common in certain angiosperm subfamilies and tribes. We propose that flower-visiting bats provide two important benefits to plants: they deposit large amounts of pollen and a variety of pollen genotypes on plant stigmas and, compared with many other pollinators, they are long-distance pollen dispersers. Bat pollination tends to occur in plants that occur in low densities and in lineages producing large flowers. In highly fragmented tropical habitats, nectar bats play an important role in maintaining the genetic continuity of plant populations and thus have considerable conservation value.
PMCID: PMC2766192  PMID: 19789175
Angiosperms; nectar-feeding bats; plant phylogeny; pollen dispersal; pollination modes
24.  Pollination and late-acting self-incompatibility in Cyrtanthus breviflorus (Amaryllidaceae): implications for seed production 
Annals of Botany  2010;106(4):547-555.
Background and Aims
Animal pollination is typically an uncertain process that interacts with self-incompatibility status to determine reproductive success. Seed set is often pollen-limited, but species with late-acting self-incompatibility (SI) may be particularly vulnerable, if self-pollen deposition results in ovule discounting. Pollination is examined and the occurrence of late-acting SI and ovule discounting assessed in Cyrtanthus breviflorus.
The pollination system was characterized by observing floral visitors and assessing nectar production and spectral reflectance of flowers. To assess late-acting SI and ovule discounting, growth of self- and cross-pollen tubes, and seed set following open pollination or hand pollination with varying proportions of self- and cross-pollen, were examined.
Key Results
Native honeybees Apis mellifera scutellata pollinated flowers as they actively collected pollen. Most flowers (≥70 %) did not contain nectar, while the rest produced minute volumes of dilute nectar. The flowers which are yellow to humans are visually conspicuous to bees with a strong contrast between UV-reflecting tepals and UV-absorbing anthers and pollen. Plants were self-incompatible, but self-rejection was late-acting and both self- and cross-pollen tubes penetrated ovules. Seed set of open-pollinated flowers was pollen-limited, despite pollen deposition exceeding ovule number by 6-fold. Open-pollinated seed set was similar to that of the cross + self-pollen treatment, but was less than that of the cross-pollen-only treatment.
Flowers of C. breviflorus are pollinated primarily by pollen-collecting bees and possess a late-acting SI system, previously unknown in this clade of the Amaryllidaceae. Pollinators of C. breviflorus deposit mixtures of cross- and self-pollen and, because SI is late-acting, self-pollen disables ovules, reducing female fertility. This study thus contributes to growing evidence that seed production in plants with late-acting SI systems is frequently limited by pollen quality, even when pollinators are abundant.
PMCID: PMC2944973  PMID: 20647225
Amarydillaceae; Cyrtanthus breviflorus; honeybee pollination; late-acting self-incompatibility; ovule discounting; pollen limitation; pollen quantity and quality
25.  Floral traits mediate the vulnerability of aloes to pollen theft and inefficient pollination by bees 
Annals of Botany  2012;109(4):761-772.
Background and Aims
Pollen-collecting bees are among the most important pollinators globally, but are also the most common pollen thieves and can significantly reduce plant reproduction. The pollination efficiency of pollen collectors depends on the frequency of their visits to female(-phase) flowers, contact with stigmas and deposition of pollen of sufficient quantity and quality to fertilize ovules. Here we investigate the relative importance of these components, and the hypothesis that floral and inflorescence characteristics mediate the pollination role of pollen collection by bees.
For ten Aloe species that differ extensively in floral and inflorescence traits, we experimentally excluded potential bird pollinators to quantify the contributions of insect visitors to pollen removal, pollen deposition and seed production. We measured corolla width and depth to determine nectar accessibility, and the phenology of anther dehiscence and stigma receptivity to quantify herkogamy and dichogamy. Further, we compiled all published bird-exclusion studies of aloes, and compared insect pollination success with floral morphology.
Key Results
Species varied from exclusively insect pollinated, to exclusively bird pollinated but subject to extensive pollen theft by insects. Nectar inaccessibility and strong dichogamy inhibited pollination by pollen-collecting bees by discouraging visits to female-phase (i.e. pollenless) flowers. For species with large inflorescences of pollen-rich flowers, pollen collectors successfully deposited pollen, but of such low quality (probably self-pollen) that they made almost no contribution to seed set. Indeed, considering all published bird-exclusion studies (17 species in total), insect pollination efficiency varied significantly with floral shape.
Species-specific floral and inflorescence characteristics, especially nectar accessibility and dichogamy, control the efficiency of pollen-collecting bees as pollinators of aloes.
PMCID: PMC3286288  PMID: 22278414
Pollen theft; pollination efficiency; dichogamy; floral morphology; Aloe; Alooideae; Xanthorrhoeaceae; Asphodeloideae

Results 1-25 (305331)