Abstract Detail



Reproductive Processes

Sharples, Mathew [1], Bentz, Philip [2], Tripp, Erin [3].

Pollination biology of two Stellaria species in the southern Rocky Mountains alpine reveals a probable explanation for apetaly in the starworts.

Apetaly, or the loss of petals, is widespread across diverse lineages of flowering plants. This condition is particularly conspicuous within the Caryophyllaceae, with myriad genera exhibiting both presence and absence of petals. Stellaria is a worldwide genus of ca. 115 species in the Caryophyllaceae, and numerous species of Stellaria have undergone some form of petal reduction from a petalous ancestral state. The floral morphology of these taxa does not appear to correlate with wind or water pollination, bringing into question how these apetalous species are primarily reproducing. We therefore sought to: 1) describe the pattern of petal evolution within Stellaria, and 2) test whether an apetalous Stellaria species yields evidence of heightened self-fertilization compared with a sympatric, petalous species of Stellaria, this tested on the alpine tundra of Colorado. Phylogenetic analyses reveal a pattern of repeated, parallel petal loss across Stellaria clades, and field experiments suggest that these losses are likely associated with increased self-fertilization as compared with petalous and predominantly outcrossing taxa.


1 - 745 College Ave., Boulder, CO, 80302, United States
2 - 6285 Ammons Drive, Arvada, CO, 80004, United States
3 - University Of Colorado Museum Herbarium, UCB350, Clare Small Building, Basement, Boulder, CO, 80309, United States

Keywords:
Caryophyllaceae
apetaly
Stellaria
alpine tundra.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Number: 0011
Abstract ID:1050
Candidate for Awards:None


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