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Article

Bee-Mediated Selection Favors Floral Sex Specialization in a Heterantherous Species: Strategies to Solve the Pollen Dilemma

1
Programa de Pós-Graduação em Biologia Vegetal, Universidade Federal de Uberlândia, Campus Umuarama, Uberlândia 38405-302, MG, Brazil
2
Departamento de Biologia Vegetal, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Cidade Universitária, Campinas 13083-862, SP, Brazil
3
Departamento de Botânica e Ecologia, Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso, Cuiabá E-78060-900, MG, Brazil
4
Instituto de Biologia, Universidade Federal de Uberlândia, Campus Umuarama, Uberlândia 38405-302, MG, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Plants 2020, 9(12), 1685; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9121685
Received: 30 October 2020 / Accepted: 27 November 2020 / Published: 1 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pollen and Pollination)
Animal-pollinated plants show a broad variation in floral morphology traits and gametophyte production within populations. Thus, floral traits related to plant reproduction and sexuality are usually exposed to pollinator-mediated selection. Such selective pressures may be even stronger in heterantherous and pollen flowers, in which pollen contributes to both bee feeding and pollination, overcoming the “pollen dilemma” or the inability to perform both functions simultaneously. We describe the phenotypic gender and sexual organ morphology of flowers in two populations of Macairea radula (Melastomataceae), a heterantherous and buzz-pollinated species with pollen flowers. We estimated selection gradients on these traits through female and male fitness components. Both populations showed sizeable phenotypic gender variation, from strict hermaphrodites to increased femaleness or maleness. We found a continuous variation in style and stamen size, and this variation was correlated with corresponding shape values of both sexual organs. We detected bee-mediated selection towards short and long styles through seed number and towards intermediate degrees of heteranthery through pollen removal in one population, and selection towards increased maleness through pollen dispersal in both populations. Our results suggest that bee-mediated selection favors floral sex specialization and stylar dimorphism in M. radula, optimizing reproductive success and solving the pollen dilemma. View Full-Text
Keywords: buzz pollination; female-biased plants; heteranthery; Macairea radula; male-biased plants; phenotypic gender; pollen flowers; pollen removal; stamen size; style morphology buzz pollination; female-biased plants; heteranthery; Macairea radula; male-biased plants; phenotypic gender; pollen flowers; pollen removal; stamen size; style morphology
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MDPI and ACS Style

Oliveira, L.C.; Teixido, A.L.; Trevizan, R.; Brito, V.L.G. Bee-Mediated Selection Favors Floral Sex Specialization in a Heterantherous Species: Strategies to Solve the Pollen Dilemma. Plants 2020, 9, 1685. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9121685

AMA Style

Oliveira LC, Teixido AL, Trevizan R, Brito VLG. Bee-Mediated Selection Favors Floral Sex Specialization in a Heterantherous Species: Strategies to Solve the Pollen Dilemma. Plants. 2020; 9(12):1685. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9121685

Chicago/Turabian Style

Oliveira, Larissa C., Alberto L. Teixido, Renata Trevizan, and Vinícius L.G. Brito 2020. "Bee-Mediated Selection Favors Floral Sex Specialization in a Heterantherous Species: Strategies to Solve the Pollen Dilemma" Plants 9, no. 12: 1685. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9121685

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