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The Role of Staminate Flowers in the Breeding System of Olea europaea (Oleaceae): an Andromonoecious, Wind‐pollinated Taxon
, Polito V.S.
Annals of Botany
, 2004. V. 93. No. 5. P. 547–553
Журнал с антэкологическими публикациями.
Oxford University Press · email@example.com
Background and Aims Andromonoecy, as a breeding system, has generated a considerable body of theory in terms of sexual selection, but extended records comparing the performance of pollen grains from staminate versus hermaphrodite flowers are still sparse. The objective in this study was to elucidate the role of staminate flowers in the andromonoecious breeding system of olive (Olea europaea). Methods To determine the meaning of staminate flowers, an evaluation was made of resource allocation to, and phenology of, staminate and hermaphrodite flowers in the cultivar ‘Mission’, and a comparison was made of the male function between both kinds of flowers. Key Results Dry weight of hermaphrodite flowers was 19 % greater than dry weight of staminate flowers arising in comparable positions of the panicle. This difference was mainly due to pistil and petal weight; there were no significant differences in stamen weight. There were no significant differences between staminate and hermaphrodite flowers in either amount of pollen per anther, or pollen quality as determined by pollen viability, germinability or ability to fertilize other flowers. There was no significant link between gender and time of anthesis. However, position of the flower within the panicle correlated with time of anthesis and gender. Flowers at the apex and at primary pedicels tended to be hermaphrodite and open earlier, whereas flowers arising in secondary pedicels were mainly staminate and were commonly the last to reach anthesis. Conclusions It is proposed that the main advantage provided by production of staminate flowers in olive is to enhance male fitness by increasing pollen output at the whole plant level, although a relict function of attracting pollinators cannot be completely discarded.