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Plant Signal Behav. 2014;9(1):e27932. Epub 2014 Jan 30.

Rapid touch-stimulated movement in the androgynophore of Passiflora flowers (subgen. Decaloba; Sect. Xerogona): an adaptation to enhance cross-pollination?

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Universidade Estadual de Campinas; Instituto de Biologia; Departamento de Biologia Vegetal; Sao Paolo, Brazil.


Plant touch-sensitive organs have been described since Darwin's observations and are related to a quick response to environment stimuli. Sensitive flower organs have been associated to an increase in the chances of cross pollination but there are few studies regarding this topic. Here we describe for the first time the kinetic of the androgynophore movement of 4 Passiflora species (P. sanguinolenta, P. citrina, P. capsularis, and P. rubra). For that, we collected flowers and recorded the movement after mechano-stimulating the androgynophore. From the recordings, we described the movement regarding its response and sensibility to mechanical stimulus and calculated the duration, speed, and the angle formed by the androgynophore before and after the movement. From our data we were able to propose a link to the pollination habit of these species. The movement of the androgynophore in these Passiflora is a noteworthy floral feature that might lead us to another astonishing example of a mechanism that evolved among angiosperms to assure sexual reproduction.


Decaloba; Passiflora; Xerogona; androgynophore; plant movement; pollination; tropisms

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