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Abstract Detail

Pollination Biology

Hulsey, Ryan [1], Krakos, Kyra [1].

The chambered stigma and its role in the reproductive biology of Chamaecrista fasciculata.

Buzz pollination is a highly specialized form of pollination in which a pollinator gains access to pollen by vibrating the anthers, causing pollen to be expelled. Chamaecrista fasciculata is a buzz pollinated prairie species with a specialized stigmatic chamber. Preliminary studies indicated that pollinator vibrations may be necessary to move pollen both out of the anthers and also when deposited into the stigmatic chamber. This study seeks to address the role of the stigmatic chamber in the pollination of C. fasciculata. We asked the following questions: 1) Who are the main pollinators of C. fasciculata? 2) What is the breeding system of C. fasciculata? 3) Is buzz pollination required for pollen deposition as well as removal? 4) What role does the chambered stigma play in pollination? 5) Is this species experiencing pollen limitation? We used both pollinator observations and pollen load analysis to determine which insect visitors were involved in transferring pollen between plants. Exclusion experiments and hand pollinations were used to determine if C. fasciculata is self-compatible, able to receive pollen from secondary pollinators, and pollen limited. Florescent microscopy was used to count the number of pollen tubes and determine reproductive success. Our results agree with previous studies that show Bombus is the main pollinator group and C. fasciculata is self-compatible. Our results indicate that pollen must be vibrated into the chamber, as well as vibrated out of the anthers for successful fertilization. The plant does not use secondary pollinators, and requires a specific functional group of large bees for successful reproduction. Although small halictid bees were carrying pollen, they are most likely not secondary pollinators because of the chambered stigma requirements. The highly specialized nature of the plant most likely does not pose a risk to the species, due to the generalist nature of Bombus.

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1 - Maryville University, Biology, 650 Maryville University, St Louis, MO, 63141, USA

buzz pollination
stigma contact
Pollen limitation
pollination success.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Topics
Session: P
Location: Grand Salon A - D/Riverside Hilton
Date: Monday, July 29th, 2013
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PPL006
Abstract ID:489
Candidate for Awards:None

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