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Am J Bot. 2013 Jun;100(6):1083-94. doi: 10.3732/ajb.1200627. Epub 2013 May 22.

Pollination and mating systems of Apodanthaceae and the distribution of reproductive traits in parasitic angiosperms.

Author information

1
Systematic Botany and Mycology, University of Munich (LMU), Menzinger Str. 67 80638 Munich, Germany. sido.bellot@neuf.fr

Abstract

PREMISE OF THE STUDY:

The most recent reviews of the reproductive biology and sexual systems of parasitic angiosperms were published 17 yr ago and reported that dioecy might be associated with parasitism. We use current knowledge on parasitic lineages and their sister groups, and data on the reproductive biology and sexual systems of Apodanthaceae, to readdress the question of possible trends in the reproductive biology of parasitic angiosperms. •

METHODS:

Fieldwork in Zimbabwe and Iran produced data on the pollinators and sexual morph frequencies in two species of Apodanthaceae. Data on pollinators, dispersers, and sexual systems in parasites and their sister groups were compiled from the literature. •

KEY RESULTS:

With the possible exception of some Viscaceae, most of the ca. 4500 parasitic angiosperms are animal-pollinated, and ca. 10% of parasites are dioecious, but the gain and loss of dioecy across angiosperms is too poorly known to infer a statistical correlation. The studied Apodanthaceae are dioecious and pollinated by nectar- or pollen-foraging Calliphoridae and other flies. •

CONCLUSIONS:

Sister group comparisons so far do not reveal any reproductive traits that evolved (or were lost) concomitant with a parasitic life style, but the lack of wind pollination suggests that this pollen vector may be maladaptive in parasites, perhaps because of host foliage or flowers borne close to the ground.

KEYWORDS:

Apodanthaceae; dioecy; field observations; fly pollination; phylogeny; sexual system

PMID:
23703856
DOI:
10.3732/ajb.1200627
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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