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Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Morphological variation in the flowers of Jacaratia mexicana A. DC. (Caricaceae), a subdioecious tree
Authors: Aguirre, Armando
Vallejo-Marin, Mario
Piedra-Malagon, Eva Maria
Cruz-Ortega, Rocio
Dirzo, Rodolfo
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Keywords: Caricaceae
Jacaratia mexicana
sexual variation
Issue Date: May-2009
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Citation: Aguirre A, Vallejo-Marin M, Piedra-Malagon EM, Cruz-Ortega R & Dirzo R (2009) Morphological variation in the flowers of Jacaratia mexicana A. DC. (Caricaceae), a subdioecious tree, Plant Biology, 11 (3), pp. 417-424.
Abstract: The Caricaceae is a small family of tropical trees and herbs in which most species are dioecious. In the present study, we extend our previous work on dioecy in the Caricaceae, characterising the morphological variation in sexual expression in flowers of the dioecious tree Jacaratia mexicana. We found that, in J. mexicana, female plants produce only pistillate flowers, while male plants are sexually variable and can bear three different types of flowers: staminate, pistillate and perfect. To characterise the distinct types of flowers, we measured 26 morphological variables. Our results indicate that: (i) pistillate flowers from male trees carry healthy-looking ovules and are morphologically similar, although smaller than, pistillate flowers on female plants; (ii) staminate flowers have a rudimentary, non-functional pistil and are the only flowers capable of producing nectar; and (iii) perfect flowers produce healthy- looking ovules and pollen, but have smaller ovaries than pistillate flowers and fewer anthers than staminate flowers, and do not produce nectar. The restriction of sexual variation to male trees is consistent with the evolutionary path of dioecy from hermaphrodite ancestors through the initial invasion of male-sterile plants and a subsequent gradual reduction in female fertility in cosexual individuals (gynodioecy pathway), but further work is needed to confirm this hypothesis.
Type: Journal Article
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Rights: The publisher does not allow this work to be made publicly available in this Repository. Please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study.
Affiliation: Instituto de Ecologia A.C, Veracruz, Mexico
Biological and Environmental Sciences
Instituto de Ecologia A.C, Veracruz, Mexico
National Autonomous University of Mexico
Stanford University

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