Journal Article

Up and down: stamen movements in <i>Ruta graveolens</i> (Rutaceae) enhance both outcrossing and delayed selfing

Ming-Xun Ren and Jing-Yu Tang

in Annals of Botany

Published on behalf of The Annals of Botany Company

Volume 110, issue 5, pages 1017-1025
Published in print October 2012 | ISSN: 0305-7364
Published online August 2012 | e-ISSN: 1095-8290 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcs181
Up and down: stamen movements in Ruta graveolens (Rutaceae) enhance both outcrossing and delayed selfing

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

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Background and Aims

Stamen movements directly determine pollen fates and mating patterns by altering positions of female and male organs. However, the implications of such movements in terms of pollination are not well understood. Recently, complex patterns of stamen movements have been identified in Loasaceae, Parnassiaceae, Rutaceae and Tropaeolaceae. In this study the stamen movements in Ruta graveolens (Rutaceae) and their impact on pollination are determined.

Methods

Pollination effects of stamen movements were studied in Ruta graveolens, in which one-by-one uplifting and falling back is followed by simultaneous movement of all stamens in some flowers. Using 30 flowers, one stamen was manipulated either to be immobilized or to be allowed to move freely towards the centre of the flower but be prevented from falling back. Pollen loads on stigmas and ovule fertilization in flowers with or without simultaneous stamen movement were determined.

Results

Pollen removal decreased dramatically (P < 0·001) when the stamen was stopped from uplifting because its anther was seldom contacted by pollinators. When a stamen stayed at the flower's centre, pollen removal of the next freely moved anther decreased significantly (P < 0·005) because of fewer touches by pollinators and quick leaving of pollinators that were discouraged by the empty anther. Simultaneous stamen movement occurred only in flowers with low pollen load on the stigma and the remaining pollen in anthers dropped onto stigma surfaces after stamens moved to the flower's centre.

Conclusions

In R. graveolens pollen removal is promoted through one-by-one movement of the stamen, which presents pollen in doses to pollinators by successive uplifting of the stamen and avoids interference of two consecutively dehisced anthers by falling back of the former stamen before the next one moves into the flower's centre. Simultaneous stamen movement at the end of anthesis probably reflects an adaptation for late-acting self-pollination.

Keywords: Dichogamy; experimental manipulation; pollen presentation; pollen removal; pollination; reproductive assurance; Ruta graveolens; stamen movement

Journal Article.  6060 words.  Illustrated.

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

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