Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 156, Issue 3–4, pp 117–126 | Cite as

Breeding systems and pollination inVigna minima (Leguminosae, Papilionoideae)

  • Mambully Chandrasekhar Gopinathan
  • Cherukuri Ragavendra Babu


Four types of floral breeding systems—(i) chasmogamy, (ii) aerial pseudocleistogamy, (iii) subterranean pseudocleistogamy and (iv) obligate subterranean true cleistogamy—are observed in the populations ofVigna minima inhabiting the Western Ghats (India). Five categories of phenotypes are recognized based on the number and kinds of floral breeding systems found in a given individual. The frequencies of different categories of phenotypes not only show intra- and interpopulation variation, but also fluctuate from generation to generation suggesting differences in the genetic structure of populations. This polymorphism in the breeding system of a single species is unique and may be adaptive. Obligate subterranean true cleistogamy and amphicarpy appear to be adaptations to jungle fires and soil erosion.—The flowers are of the flag-blossom type and insect visitors act as tripping agents. The tripping mechanism together with the polymorphic floral breeding system result in a balanced mixture of selfing and outcrossing. Such a recombination system may enhance the fitness ofV. minima which is essentially a colonizing species.

Key words

Angiosperms Leguminosae Papilionoideae Vigna minima Polymorphism floral breeding systems pollination 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mambully Chandrasekhar Gopinathan
    • 1
  • Cherukuri Ragavendra Babu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BotanyUniversity of DelhiDelhiIndia

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