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Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 251, Issue 2–4, pp 229–237 | Cite as

Corolla wilting facilitates delayed autonomous self-pollination in Pedicularis dunniana (Orobanchaceae)

  • S.-G. Sun
  • Y.-H Guo
  • R. W. Gituru
  • S.-Q. Huang
Article

Abstract.

Structural changes associated with corolla wilting may serve as a mechanism for effecting self-pollination. Low pollinator visitation, high seed production and a corolla that persists after anthesis indicates that Pedicularis dunniana is autogamous. Delayed autonomous self-pollination is facilitated by corolla wilting. Wilting of the upper lip (galea) brought the pollen laden anthers into contact with the stigma resulting in the deposition of self pollen on the stigma. The seed set of flowers either emasculated, or with restrained galeae thus preventing anthers brushing against the stigma, was significantly lower than that of open-pollinated flowers. This demonstrates that autogamy occurs in this species through corolla wilting. Germination experiments indicated that outcross seedlings were more vigorous than selfed seedlings as a result of inbreeding depression. It is likely that autogamy provides reproductive assurance for P. dunniana under conditions of pollinator scarcity.

Keywords

Pedicularis dunniana corolla wilting delayed autonomous self-pollination autogamy reproductive assurance Orobanchaceae 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • S.-G. Sun
    • 1
  • Y.-H Guo
    • 1
  • R. W. Gituru
    • 2
  • S.-Q. Huang
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Plant Systematics and Evolutionary Biology, College of Life SciencesWuhan UniversityWuhanChina
  2. 2.School of Pure and Applies Sciences, Department of BotanyKenyatta UniversityNairobiKenya

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