J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2007, Vol. 49 ›› Issue (2): -.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2007.00398.x

• Evolution •    

Pollen-Ovule Ratio and Gamete Investment in Pedicularis (Orobanchaceae)

Chun-Feng Yang and You-Hao Guo   

Abstract: The Pedicularis species provides ideal materials to study floral evolution because of their substantial flower variation based on a narrow genetic basis, even though they are almost exclusively pollinated by bumblebee. These traits allow us to detect the evolutionary trends of floral parameters without onsidering genetic background and the difference of pollination vectors. The pollen-ovule ratio is widely used to estimate the pattern of resource nvestment in two sexual functions in flowering plants. Forty species epresenting all of the corolla types in Pedicularis were used to study pollen-ovule ratio, gamete investment, and their correlations. Results show that pollen-ovule ratio does not differ among both different corolla types and taxonomic groups. It is therefore suggested that pollen-ovule ratio should be a parallel evolution. The correlations between pollen-ovule ratio and pollen size (–),and ovule size (+) can be successfully explained in terms of sex allocation theory. The biological significance of such relationships was also discussed. Additionally, we analyzed the pattern of resource investment into female gamete, which has been somewhat neglected, and found that plants have different patterns of gamete investment between the two sexual functions. .

Key words: gamete investment, ovule size, Pedicularis, pollen-ovule ratio, pollen size, pollination, sex allocation.

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