Floral biology, reciprocal herkogamy and breeding system in four Psychotria species (Rubiaceae) in Brazil

Túlio Sá, Marco T. Furtado, Victoria Ferrero, Rocio Pérez-barrales, Ebenézer B. Rodrigues, Isabela G. Dos Santos, Hélder Consolaro

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Distylous species have two floral morphs with reciprocal positions of sexual whorls, functioning to promote cross-pollination. Additionally, most distylous species have an incompatibility system linked to the discrete variation of anthers and stigmas. Here we provide new data on heterostyly, reproductive biology and pollination in four Psychotria spp. from the Cerrado Region (Brazil). Psychotria deflexa, P. nitidula and P. trichophoroides fitted the distylous morphological syndrome, whereas P. prunifolia was monomorphic and self-compatible. Reciprocity varied across species, with the upper whorl of anthers and stigmas being more reciprocal than the lower whorl. Psychotria nitidula has a heteromorphic incompatibility system, whereas P. deflexa and P. trichophoroides showed partial self-compatibility. Psychotria prunifolia and P. trichophoroides were visited by large bees and exhibited lower reproductive efficacy than P. nitidula and P. deflexa, which are visited by wasps and small bees. Our results provide new evidence that the morphological distylous syndrome does not always co-occur with heteromorphic incompatibility and additional mechanisms (e.g. disassortative pollen transfer) may operate to maintain the polymorphism and isoplethy of species with different incompatibility system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)689-707
JournalBotanical Journal of the Linnean Society
Issue number3
Early online date30 Aug 2016
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016


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