HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Plants with male and bisexual flowers on the same plant are better mothers

What would be the opening chapter of the Kamasutra of plant sex? A good pick would be a description of the numerous ways in which plants arrange their sexual organs: from both sexes in the same flower to sexes separated in different flowers or individuals. One widespread sexual strategy that remains an evolutionary enigma is the production of both male and bisexual flowers in the same plant, which occurs in approximately 4000 species. What is the advantage of producing these redundant male flowers? Mario Vallejo-Marin and Mark Rausher, evolutionary biologists from Duke University, report that producing male flowers can make a plant a better mother, in the May issue of the American Naturalist. The authors showed this counter-intuitive benefit of a "male" strategy through a series of field experiments with horsenettle, a common weed in North Carolina. The experimental demonstration that male flowers can sometimes increase seed number supports a new interpretation that male flowers increase not only male but also female reproductive success.

So what is the mechanism through which male flowers increase female reproductive success? Such a benefit may arise if resources saved by producing smaller male flowers are reallocated to increased seed production, if male flowers are more attractive to pollinators, or if male flowers remove less pollen from pollinators than bisexual flowers, thus increasing the amount of non-self pollen available for fruit-producing flowers. Which one of these mechanisms is responsible for the "good mothers" in Vallejo-Marin and Rausher's study? "We don't know yet," says Mario, "but these alternatives could easily be tested through more experiments." Data from an unrelated study indicate that the female advantage of producing male flowers is not unique to horsenettle. To what extent strategies traditionally interpreted as "male" also benefit female fitness in other species remains an open and interesting question.


'"/>

Contact: Patricia Morse
pmorse@uchicago.edu
773-702-0446
University of Chicago Press Journals
30-Apr-2007


Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. Plants recognize their siblings, biologists discover
2. Plants that produce more vitamin C may result from UCLA-Dartmouth discovery
3. Plants tag insect herbivores with an alarm
4. Plants do not emit methane
5. Plants management of nutrient suggests environmental remedies
6. Plants point the way to coping with climate change
7. Plants, plasmids and possibilities -- Methods permit functional gene studies in plants
8. Plants give up answers in the war on bacteria
9. Plants tell caterpillars when its safe to forage
10. Plants role in global warming re-examined in ORNL Science paper
11. Hold your breath; Plants may absorb less carbon dioxide than we thought

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/29/2017)...  higi, the health IT company that operates the ... , today announced a Series B investment from ... The new investment and acquisition accelerates higi,s strategy to ... population health activities through the collection and workflow integration ... collects and secures data today on behalf of over ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... 2017  Catholic Health Services (CHS) has been ... (HIMSS) Analytics for achieving Stage 6 on the ... In addition, CHS previously earned a place in ... electronic medical record (EMR). "HIMSS Analytics ... EMR usage in an outpatient setting.  This recognition ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... Mar 24, 2017 Research and Markets has ... Market Analysis & Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" report ... ... at a CAGR of around 15.1% over the next decade to ... report analyzes the market estimates and forecasts for all the given ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... April 25, 2017 , ... ... of Common Lisp (CL) development tools, and market leader for Semantic Graph ... performance enhancements now available within the most effective system for developing and deploying ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... April 25, 2017 , ... Dr. Robert G. ... , proudly announced today that acclaimed physiatrist Matthew Terzella, MD, has joined the ... 2017. , Dr. Terzella completed his residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... ... April 24, 2017 , ... It is well ... milieu; however, the broad application of this cellular target engagement concept to drug ... readouts. Cell-based thermal stabilization assays are valuable methods for particular applications, but they ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... April 21, 2017 , ... Having worked on the design ... is pleased to introduce it to top lab design architects from around the country ... and VP of Industrial Design and Engineering Greg Casey will be at the show, ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: