Allocation to floral structures in Thalictrum pubescens (Ranunculaceae), a cryptically dioecious species.
ABSTRACT: Females of Thalictrum pubescens produce stamens that contain sterile pollen, whereas males are both functionally and morphologically unisexual. This study examines the investment in stamen production by females of T. pubescens by comparing the female structures with those of their fully functional male counterparts. Stamens from females had the same biomass and contained the same amount of nitrogen and phosphorus as stamens from males. Anther size was the same in males and females, but filaments were longer in stamens from males. Females produced more pollen per anther than males, and pollen size was the same in both sexes. Within flowers, there was a positive correlation between the amount of pollen per anther and the length of anthers in males, but not in females. This would be expected if males growing in better environmental conditions or with greater vigour invested more resources in pollen production, thereby increasing fitness. Females, who receive no fitness benefits from increased pollen production, did not show this pattern. There was also evidence of a trade-off within female flowers between the number of stamens and the number of pistils. This trade-off was noted in conditions when variance among plants was reduced, namely in the field during a year when flower size was particularly small and in a previous glasshouse study. Therefore, it appears that when environmental variance is low, stamens are produced at the expense of producing more pistils, and hence seeds. In conclusion, stamen production does not appear to be inconsequential to females of Thalictrum pubescens.
Project description:Abstract Buzz-pollinated pollen flowers have pollen as the primary resource for pollinators and must deal with a conflict between the exploitation of pollen grains by bees and pollination success. It has been hypothesized that heterostemony allows division of labour between stamens as a solution to the pollen dilemma. To test the division of labour hypothesis, we chose Cassia fistula, which has a trimorphic androecium and analysed androecium development, pollen grain release mechanisms and visitor behaviour. We explored the reflectance of floral organs and carried out an exclusion experiment to test the attractiveness of each stamen morph to the bee species. Finally, we explored the structural, ultrastructural and functional variation between the pollen grains, including pollen viability across stamen morphs. The differences among the three stamen morphs, which is developed from two whorls of the stamen, are the first evidence of the division of labour in our study system. Large Bombus and Xylocopa bees actively and exclusively exploited the pollen grains from the central poricidal anthers generating pollen deposition on their bodies. The reflectance pattern of floral organs indicated a targeting of these large bees to the central anthers, corroborated by the anther manipulative experiment where only the exclusion of the anthers positioned in the flower centre, especially the intermediate stamens, reduced bee visits. Both results revealed a division of labour, in which the intermediate stamen morph was responsible for both floral attractiveness and pollen resources. Only the largest stamen morph produced germinable pollen grains, highlighting their role as pollinating stamens. The smallest stamen morph has a less clear function, likely representing an economy in pollen production for feeding function. Our findings suggest that the evolution of the trimorphic androecium is associated with division of labour in large pollen flowers and can represent a strong strategy for circumventing the pollen dilemma, optimizing the feeding function by reducing pollen grain investment from central anthers. Cassia fistula flowers offer only pollen as food to the pollinator. Because of its three sets of stamens, we investigated the division of labour. As the same pollen cannot fertilize the plant and feed the pollinator, the idea of a set of stamens producing pollen for fertilization and another producing pollen to feed, is a refined strategy to mitigate this dilemma. The central stamens (intermediate and smallest stamens) are more attractive, producing inviable pollen grains, the bees’ choice for feeding. The largest stamens’ viable pollen grains are deposited on the bees’ back, confirming the division of labour in C. fistula flowers.
Project description:The selective pressure imposed by maximizing male fitness (pollen dispersal) in shaping floral structures is increasingly recognized and emphasized in current plant sciences. To maximize male fitness, many flowers bear a group of stamens with temporally separated anther dehiscence that prolongs presentation of pollen grains. Such an advantage, however, may come with a cost resulting from interference of pollen removal by the dehisced anthers. This interference between dehisced and dehiscing anthers has received little attention and few experimental tests to date. Here, using one-by-one stamen movement in the generalist-pollinated Parnassia palustris, we test this hypothesis by manipulation experiments in two years. Under natural conditions, the five fertile stamens in P. palustris flowers elongate their filaments individually, and anthers dehisce successively one-by-one. More importantly, the anther-dehisced stamen bends out of the floral center by filament deflexion before the next stamen's anther dehiscence. Experimental manipulations show that flowers with dehisced anther remaining at the floral center experience shorter (1/3-1/2 less) visit durations by pollen-collecting insects (mainly hoverflies and wasps) because these 'hungry' insects are discouraged by the scant and non-fresh pollen in the dehisced anther. Furthermore, the dehisced anther blocks the dehiscing anther's access to floral visitors, resulting in a nearly one third decrease in their contact frequency. As a result, pollen removal of the dehiscing anther decreases dramatically. These results provide the first direct experimental evidence that anther-anther interference is possible in a flower, and that the selection to reduce such interferences can be a strong force in floral evolution. We also propose that some other floral traits, usually interpreted as pollen dispensing mechanisms, may function, at least partially, as mechanisms to promote pollen dispersal by reducing interferences between dehisced and dehiscing anthers.
Project description:Background and Aims:Plant-pollinator interactions shape the evolution of flowers. Floral attraction and reward traits have often been shown to affect pollinator behaviour, but the possible effect of efficiency traits on visitation behaviour has rarely been addressed. Anther position, usually considered a trait that influences efficiency of pollen deposition on pollinators, was tested here for its effect on pollinator visitation rates and visit duration in flowers of wild radish, Raphanus raphanistrum . Methods:Artificial selection lines from two experiments that expanded the naturally occurring phenotypic variation in anther position were used. In one experiment, plant lines were selected either to increase or to decrease anther exsertion. The other experiment decreased anther dimorphism, which resulted in increased short stamen exsertion. The hypothesis was that increased exsertion would increase visitation of pollen foragers due to increased visual attraction. Another hypothesis was that exsertion of anthers above the corolla would interfere with nectar foragers and increase the duration of visit per flower. Key Results:In the exsertion selection experiment, increased exsertion of both short and long stamens resulted in an increased number of fly visits per plant, and in the dimorphism experiment bee visits increased with increased short stamen exsertion. The duration of visits of nectar feeders declined significantly with increasing long stamen exsertion, which was opposite to the hypothesis. Conclusions:Until now, anther position was considered to be an efficiency trait to enhance pollen uptake and deposition. Anther position in wild radish is shown here also to have an ecological significance in attracting pollen foragers. This study suggests an additional adaptive role for anther position beyond efficiency, and highlights the multiple ecological functions of floral traits in plant-pollinator interactions.
Project description:In Arabidopsis, jasmonate is required for stamen and pollen maturation. Mutants deficient in jasmonate synthesis, such as opr3, are male-sterile but become fertile when jasmonate is applied to developing flower buds. We have used ATH1 oligonucleotide arrays to follow gene expression in opr3 stamens for 22 hours following jasmonate treatment. In these experiments, a total of 821 genes were specifically induced by jasmonate and 480 repressed. Comparisons with data from previous studies indicate that these genes constitute a stamen-specific jasmonate transcriptome, with a large proportion (70%) of the genes expressed in the sporophytic tissue but not in the pollen. Bioinformatics tools allowed us to associate many of the induced genes with metabolic pathways that are likely up-regulated during jasmonate-induced maturation. Our pathway analysis led to the identification of specific genes within larger families of homologues that apparently encode stamen-specific isozymes. Extensive additional analysis of our dataset identified 13 transcription factors that may be key regulators of the stamen maturation processes triggered by jasmonate. Two of these transcription factors, MYB21 and MYB24, are the only members of subgroup 19 of the R2R3 family of MYB proteins. A myb21 mutant obtained by reverse genetics exhibited shorter anther filaments, delayed anther dehiscence and greatly reduced male fertility. A myb24 mutant was phenotypically wild type, but production of a myb21Â myb24 double mutant indicated that introduction of the myb24 mutation exacerbated all three aspects of the myb21 phenotype. Exogenous jasmonate could not restore fertility to myb21 or myb21Â myb24 mutant plants. Together with the data from transcriptional profiling, these results indicate that MYB21 and MYB24 are induced by jasmonate and mediate important aspects of the jasmonate response during stamen development. Experiment Overall Design: Three replicates for opr3 at each time point of 0 hour, 30 minutes, 2 hours, 8 hours and 22 hourss of either JA or OPDA treatment. One replicate of wild-type stamens. <br><br>Note that data files GSM106833.txt and GSM106907.txt as downloaded from GEO are identical.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Aegilops crassa cytoplasm is an important source for investigating cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS). Moreover, the stamens of line C303A exhibit a high degree of pistillody, turning almost white. However, the molecular mechanism that underlies pistillody in C303A remains unclear. Therefore, to obtain a better understanding of pistillody in C303A, the phenotypic and cytological features of C303A were observed to identify the key stage for the homeotic transformation of stamens into pistil-like structures. Transcriptome profiles were determined for stamens using Illumina RNA sequencing. RESULTS:Morphological observations of the CMS wheat line with Aegilops crassa cytoplasm C303A showed that the pistils developed normally, but the stamens were ultimately aborted and they released no pollen when mature. According to paraffin section observations, the stamens began to transform into pistils or pistil-like structures in the binucleate stage (BNS). Therefore, the stamens were collected from line C303A and its maintainer 303B in the BNS for transcriptome sequencing. In total, 20,444 wheat genes were determined as differentially expressed in C303A and 303B stamens, with 10,283 upregulated and 10,161 downregulated genes. Gene Ontology enrichment analyses showed that most of the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were annotated with GO terms comprising metabolic process, cell, cellular process, catalytic activity, and cell part. Analysis based on the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes database showed that the enriched DEGs were mainly associated with energy metabolism. We also found several essential genes that may contribute to pistillody in C303A. These findings suggest that disrupted energy metabolism and reactive oxygen metabolism induce pistillody and eventually lead to abortion in C303A. CONCLUSION:We determined the complex transcriptome profiles for C303A stamens and demonstrated that disrupted energy metabolism and class B MADS-box genes are related to pistillody. These findings may facilitate future studies of the mechanistic response of the wheat stamen and pollen development in CMS.
Project description:In buzz-pollinated plants, bees apply thoracic vibrations to the flower, causing pollen release from anthers, often through apical pores. Bees grasp one or more anthers with their mandibles, and vibrations are transmitted to this focal anther(s), adjacent anthers, and the whole flower. Pollen release depends on anther vibration, and thus it should be affected by vibration transmission through flowers with distinct morphologies, as found among buzz-pollinated taxa. We compare vibration transmission between focal and non-focal anthers in four species with contrasting stamen architectures: Cyclamen persicum, Exacum affine, Solanum dulcamara and S. houstonii. We used a mechanical transducer to apply bee-like vibrations to focal anthers, measuring the vibration frequency and displacement amplitude at focal and non-focal anther tips simultaneously using high-speed video analysis (6000 frames per second). In flowers in which anthers are tightly arranged (C. persicum and S. dulcamara), vibrations in focal and non-focal anthers are indistinguishable in both frequency and displacement amplitude. In contrast, flowers with loosely arranged anthers (E. affine) including those with differentiated stamens (heterantherous S. houstonii), show the same frequency but higher displacement amplitude in non-focal anthers compared to focal anthers. We suggest that stamen architecture modulates vibration transmission, potentially affecting pollen release and bee behaviour.
Project description:The pistillody mutant wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) plant HTS-1 exhibits homeotic transformation of stamens into pistils or pistil-like structures. Unlike common wheat varieties, HTS-1 produces three to six pistils per floret, potentially increasing the yield. Thus, HTS-1 is highly valuable in the study of floral development in wheat. In this study, we conducted RNA sequencing of the transcriptomes of the pistillody stamen (PS) and the pistil (P) from HTS-1 plants, and the stamen (S) from the non-pistillody control variety Chinese Spring TP to gain insights into pistil and stamen development in wheat.
Project description:We used Affymetrix Arabidopsis ATH1 GeneChip to profile RNAs active in wild type columbia (glabrous) and CaMV::DME pollen and stamens. Experiment Overall Design: DME is not active in wild type pollen and stamen. DME was induced in pollen and stamen by a cauliflower mosaic virus promoter (CaMV). RNA profiles from wild type and CaMV::DME pollen and stamens were compared using Affymetrix ATH1 GeneChip.
Project description:<i>Oryza longistaminata</i>, a wild species of African origin, has been reported to exhibit self-incompatibility (SI). However, the genetic pattern of its SI remained unknown. In this study, we conducted self-pollination and reciprocal cross-pollination experiments to verify that <i>O. longistaminata</i> is a strictly self-incompatible species. The staining of pollen with aniline blue following self-pollination revealed that although pollen could germinate on the stigma, the pollen tube was unable to enter the style to complete pollination, thereby resulting in gametophytic self-incompatibility (GSI). <i>LpSDUF247</i>, a <i>S</i>-locus male determinant in the gametophytic SI system of perennial ryegrass, is predicted to encode a DUF247 protein. On the basic of chromosome alignment with <i>LpSDUF247</i>, we identified <i>OlSS1</i> and <i>OlSS2</i> as <i>Self-Incompatibility Stamen</i> candidate genes in <i>O. longistaminata</i>. Chromosome segment analysis revealed that the <i>Self-Incompatibility Pistil</i> candidate gene of <i>O. longistaminata</i> (<i>OlSP</i>) is a polymorphic gene located in a region flanking <i>OlSS1</i>. <i>OlSS1</i> was expressed mainly in the stamens, whereas <i>OlSS2</i> was expressed in both the stamens and pistils. <i>OlSP</i> was specifically highly expressed in the pistils, as revealed by RT-PCR and qRT-PCR analyses. Collectively, our observations indicate the occurrence of GSI in <i>O. longistaminata</i> and that this process is potentially controlled by <i>OlSS1</i>, <i>OlSS2</i>, and <i>OlSP</i>. These findings provide further insights into the genetic mechanisms underlying self-compatibility in plants.
Project description:Heterostyly employs distinct hermaphroditic floral morphs to enforce outbreeding. Morphs differ structurally in stigma/anther positioning, promoting cross-pollination, and physiologically blocking self-fertilization. Heterostyly is controlled by a self-incompatibility (S)-locus of a small number of linked S-genes specific to short-styled morph genomes. Turnera possesses three S-genes, namely TsBAHD (controlling pistil characters), TsYUC6, and TsSPH1 (controlling stamen characters). Here, we compare pistil and stamen transcriptomes of floral morphs of T. subulata to investigate hypothesized S-gene function(s) and whether hormonal differences might contribute to physiological incompatibility. We then use network analyses to identify genetic networks underpinning heterostyly. We found a depletion of brassinosteroid-regulated genes in short styled (S)-morph pistils, consistent with hypothesized brassinosteroid-inactivating activity of TsBAHD. In S-morph anthers, auxin-regulated genes were enriched, consistent with hypothesized auxin biosynthesis activity of TsYUC6. Evidence was found for auxin elevation and brassinosteroid reduction in both pistils and stamens of S- relative to long styled (L)-morph flowers, consistent with reciprocal hormonal differences contributing to physiological incompatibility. Additional hormone pathways were also affected, however, suggesting S-gene activities intersect with a signaling hub. Interestingly, distinct S-genes controlling pistil length, from three species with independently evolved heterostyly, potentially intersect with phytochrome interacting factor (PIF) network hubs which mediate red/far-red light signaling. We propose that modification of the activities of PIF hubs by the S-locus could be a common theme in the evolution of heterostyly.