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  • AID0090980670
  • DOI10.1093/aob/mcl292

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Adaptive Significance of Flexistyly in Alpinia blepharocalyx (Zingiberaceae): A Hand-pollination Experiment

Annals of Botany
Annals of Botany
Журнал с антэкологическими публикациями.
Oxford University Press · office@annbot.com

, 2007. V. 99. No. 4. P. 661–666
Background and AimsFlexistyly is a sexual dimorphism where there are two morphs that differ in the temporal expression of sexual function and also involve reciprocal movement of the stigmatic surface through a vertical axis during the flowering period. The adaptive significance of flexistyly has been interpreted as a floral mechanism for outcrossing, but it may also function to reduce sexual interference in which styles and stigmas impede the pollen export. Here these two explanations of flexistyly were tested in Alpinia blepharocalyx through a hand-pollination experiment.MethodsHand-pollinations were performed in two temporal morphs and consisted of two sequential pollination treatments, namely self-pollination in the morning and inter-morph pollination in the afternoon (treatment 1) or conversely inter-morph pollination in the morning and self-pollination in the afternoon (treatment 2), and two simultaneous self- and inter-morph cross-pollination treatments either in the morning (treatment 3) or in the afternoon (treatment 4). Seed paternity was then determined to assess relative success of self- versus cross-pollen using allozyme markers.Key ResultsIn the sequential pollination treatments, whether the stigmas of recipients are receptive in the morning is crucial to the success of the pollen deposited. When the cataflexistylous (protandrous) morph served as pollen recipient, early-arriving pollen in the morning can sire only a very small proportion (<15%) of seeds because the stigmas were then unreceptive. However, when the anaflexistylous (protogynous) morph served as pollen recipient, early pollen did gain a large competitive advantage over the late pollen, particularly when cross-pollen arrived first. Simultaneous self- and inter-morph cross-pollination indicated that outcross-pollen is more competitive than self-pollen on receptive stigmas.ConclusionsDifferential maturing of male and female organs in Alpinia blepharocalyx is sufficient for selfing avoidance, obviating the need for style movements. Instead, the upward style curvature of the cataflexistylous morph in the morning and the anaflexistylous morph in the afternoon most likely represents a means of reducing interference with pollen export.

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