Journal Article

Reproductive biology of <i>Abolboda pulchella</i> and <i>A. poarchon</i> (Xyridaceae: Poales)

Aline Oriani and Vera Lucia Scatena

in Annals of Botany

Published on behalf of The Annals of Botany Company

Volume 107, issue 4, pages 611-619
Published in print April 2011 | ISSN: 0305-7364
Published online February 2011 | e-ISSN: 1095-8290 | DOI:
Reproductive biology of Abolboda pulchella and A. poarchon (Xyridaceae: Poales)

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  • Ecology and Conservation
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry


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Background and Aims

Abolboda (Xyridaceae) belongs to the Poales, a predominantly wind-pollinated order whose phylogeny has been widely studied in recent years. The reproductive biology of Abolboda pulchella and A. poarchon was studied to determine the main pollination system of these species, providing the first experimental data on reproduction in the Xyridaceae.


A field study was conducted, including observations on the morphology and biology of the flowers, insect visits and pollinator behaviour. Experimental pollination treatments were performed to assess agamospermy, spontaneous self-pollination and self-compatibility. Pollination success was determined by pollen tube growth, and reproductive success was assessed by fruit- and seed-set.

Key Results

Abolboda pulchella and A. poarchon were pollinated by Apidae, Megachilidae and Halictidae bees. The floral resources were pollen and nectar that was produced by stylar appendages, an uncommom nectary type for monocotyledons. The species were self-compatible, and pollen tube growth from self-pollen was similar to that of cross-pollen. However, herkogamy prevented spontaneous selfing, rendering the plants dependent on the pollinator's activity. There was no production of seeds by agamospermy.


Melittophily is the main pollination system of these two Abolboda species. Nectar production was first recorded here for Xyridaceae, and along with self-compatibility, herkogamy and bee pollination, is an informative characteristic that can be used in future phylogenetic analyses of the family as well as Poales.

Keywords: Abolboda pulchella; Abolboda poarchon; bee pollination; herkogamy; nectar; Poales; reproduction; self-compatibility; stylar appendages; Xyridaceae

Journal Article.  5402 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation ; Evolutionary Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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