Abstract Detail

Reproductive Processes

Kemp, Jurene [1], Vallejo-Marin, Mario [2].

Pollen dispensing schedules in buzz-pollinated plants: Comparing species with contrasting floral morphologies.

The buzz-pollination syndrome, where sonicating bees extract pollen from poricidal anthers, has evolved independently across 65 plant families. Despite the prevalence of this syndrome, the function of poricidal anthers remains poorly understood. One possible function is that poricidal anthers serve as mechanism to stagger pollen release, but this has not been tested in a standardised manner across plant species differing in anther morphology. In Solanum section Androceras, independent evolutionary shifts between large- and small-flowered taxa are accompanied by consistent changes in poricidal anther morphology. We studied three pairs of species within this buzz-pollinated clade, and characterised pollen dispensing schedules by applying simulated vibrations to anthers to elicit pollen release. We compared pollen dispensing schedules across species, and we also investigated how vibration velocity affects pollen release. Further, we related individual anther traits to pollen release rates. Our work shows that replicate transitions in Solanum flower morphology are associated with consistent changes in pollen dispensing schedules. We found that small-flowered taxa release their pollen more quickly than their large-flowered counterparts, and that higher vibration velocities resulted in faster pollen dispensing and larger total pollen quantities released. Further, we showed that anther size predicted various aspects of pollen dispensing schedules. Our work represents the first phylogenetically controlled assessment of pollen dispensing schedules in buzz-pollinated taxa, and provides novel insights on the biomechanics of pollen release in this intricate pollination syndrome. Our results also have important implications for the study of the ecology of buzz-pollination, as pollen dispensing schedules directly impact pollen export dynamics and pollen reward quantities obtained by bees.

1 - University Of Stirling, BES, University Of Stirling, Biological And Environmental Sciences, Stirling, STG, FK9 4LA, United Kingdom
2 - University of Stirling, Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Stirling, Biological and Environmental Sciences, Stirling, Scotland, FK9 4LA, United Kingdom

pollen presentation theory

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: REP2, Reproductive Processes 2
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Wednesday, July 29th, 2020
Time: 1:15 PM
Number: REP2004
Abstract ID:450
Candidate for Awards:None

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