Floral micromorphology of the bird-pollinated carnivorous plant species Utricularia menziesii R.Br. (Lentibulariaceae)

Bartosz J. Plachno, Malgorzata Stpiczynska, Piotr Swiatek, Hans Lambers, Vitor F. O. Miranda, Francis J. Nge, Piotr Stolarczyk, Gregory R. Cawthray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background and Aims Bird pollination is rare among species in the genus Utricularia, and has evolved independently in two lineages of this genus. In Western Australia, the Western Spinebill, Acanthorhynchus superciliosus, visits flowers of Utricularia menziesii (section Pleiochasia: subgenus Polypompholyx). This study aimed to examine the micromorphology of U. menziesii flowers to assess traits that might be linked to its pollination strategy.

Methods Light microscopy, histochemistry and scanning electron microscopy were used. Nectar sugar composition was analysed using high-performance liquid chromatography.

Key Results The flowers of U. menziesii fulfil many criteria that characterize bird-pollinated flowers: red colour, a large, tough nectary spur that can withstand contact with a hard beak, lack of visual nectar guides and fragrance. Trichomes at the palate and throat may act as tactile signals. Spur nectary trichomes did not form clearly visible patches, but were more frequently distributed along vascular bundles, and were small and sessile. Each trichome comprised a single basal cell, a unicellular short pedestal cell (barrier cell) and a multicelled head. These trichomes were much smaller than those of the U. vulgaris allies. Hexose-dominated nectar was detected in flower spurs. Fructose and glucose were present in equal quantities (43 3.6 and 42 +/- 3.6 g L-1). Sucrose was only detected in one sample, essentially at the limit of detection for the method used. This type of nectar is common in flowers pollinated by passerine perching birds.

Conclusions The architecture of nectary trichomes in U. menziesii was similar to that of capitate trichomes of insect-pollinated species in this genus; thus, the most important specializations to bird pollination were flower colour (red), and both spur shape and size modification. Bird pollination is probably a recent innovation in the genus Utricularia, subgenus Polypompholyx, and is likely to have evolved from bee-pollinated ancestors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-220
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Botany
Volume123
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

Cite this

Plachno, Bartosz J. ; Stpiczynska, Malgorzata ; Swiatek, Piotr ; Lambers, Hans ; Miranda, Vitor F. O. ; Nge, Francis J. ; Stolarczyk, Piotr ; Cawthray, Gregory R. / Floral micromorphology of the bird-pollinated carnivorous plant species Utricularia menziesii R.Br. (Lentibulariaceae). In: Annals of Botany. 2019 ; Vol. 123, No. 1. pp. 213-220.
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title = "Floral micromorphology of the bird-pollinated carnivorous plant species Utricularia menziesii R.Br. (Lentibulariaceae)",
abstract = "Background and Aims Bird pollination is rare among species in the genus Utricularia, and has evolved independently in two lineages of this genus. In Western Australia, the Western Spinebill, Acanthorhynchus superciliosus, visits flowers of Utricularia menziesii (section Pleiochasia: subgenus Polypompholyx). This study aimed to examine the micromorphology of U. menziesii flowers to assess traits that might be linked to its pollination strategy.Methods Light microscopy, histochemistry and scanning electron microscopy were used. Nectar sugar composition was analysed using high-performance liquid chromatography.Key Results The flowers of U. menziesii fulfil many criteria that characterize bird-pollinated flowers: red colour, a large, tough nectary spur that can withstand contact with a hard beak, lack of visual nectar guides and fragrance. Trichomes at the palate and throat may act as tactile signals. Spur nectary trichomes did not form clearly visible patches, but were more frequently distributed along vascular bundles, and were small and sessile. Each trichome comprised a single basal cell, a unicellular short pedestal cell (barrier cell) and a multicelled head. These trichomes were much smaller than those of the U. vulgaris allies. Hexose-dominated nectar was detected in flower spurs. Fructose and glucose were present in equal quantities (43 3.6 and 42 +/- 3.6 g L-1). Sucrose was only detected in one sample, essentially at the limit of detection for the method used. This type of nectar is common in flowers pollinated by passerine perching birds.Conclusions The architecture of nectary trichomes in U. menziesii was similar to that of capitate trichomes of insect-pollinated species in this genus; thus, the most important specializations to bird pollination were flower colour (red), and both spur shape and size modification. Bird pollination is probably a recent innovation in the genus Utricularia, subgenus Polypompholyx, and is likely to have evolved from bee-pollinated ancestors.",
keywords = "Australian bladderwort, bird pollination, carnivorous plant, floral micro-morphology, HPLC, Lentibulariaceae, nectary structure, nectar composition, ornithophily, sect, Pleiochasia, spur, trichomes, AQUATIC BLADDERWORTS, ULTRASTRUCTURE, BIOLOGY, PALATE",
author = "Plachno, {Bartosz J.} and Malgorzata Stpiczynska and Piotr Swiatek and Hans Lambers and Miranda, {Vitor F. O.} and Nge, {Francis J.} and Piotr Stolarczyk and Cawthray, {Gregory R.}",
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language = "English",
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Floral micromorphology of the bird-pollinated carnivorous plant species Utricularia menziesii R.Br. (Lentibulariaceae). / Plachno, Bartosz J.; Stpiczynska, Malgorzata; Swiatek, Piotr; Lambers, Hans; Miranda, Vitor F. O.; Nge, Francis J.; Stolarczyk, Piotr; Cawthray, Gregory R.

In: Annals of Botany, Vol. 123, No. 1, 01.01.2019, p. 213-220.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Floral micromorphology of the bird-pollinated carnivorous plant species Utricularia menziesii R.Br. (Lentibulariaceae)

AU - Plachno, Bartosz J.

AU - Stpiczynska, Malgorzata

AU - Swiatek, Piotr

AU - Lambers, Hans

AU - Miranda, Vitor F. O.

AU - Nge, Francis J.

AU - Stolarczyk, Piotr

AU - Cawthray, Gregory R.

PY - 2019/1/1

Y1 - 2019/1/1

N2 - Background and Aims Bird pollination is rare among species in the genus Utricularia, and has evolved independently in two lineages of this genus. In Western Australia, the Western Spinebill, Acanthorhynchus superciliosus, visits flowers of Utricularia menziesii (section Pleiochasia: subgenus Polypompholyx). This study aimed to examine the micromorphology of U. menziesii flowers to assess traits that might be linked to its pollination strategy.Methods Light microscopy, histochemistry and scanning electron microscopy were used. Nectar sugar composition was analysed using high-performance liquid chromatography.Key Results The flowers of U. menziesii fulfil many criteria that characterize bird-pollinated flowers: red colour, a large, tough nectary spur that can withstand contact with a hard beak, lack of visual nectar guides and fragrance. Trichomes at the palate and throat may act as tactile signals. Spur nectary trichomes did not form clearly visible patches, but were more frequently distributed along vascular bundles, and were small and sessile. Each trichome comprised a single basal cell, a unicellular short pedestal cell (barrier cell) and a multicelled head. These trichomes were much smaller than those of the U. vulgaris allies. Hexose-dominated nectar was detected in flower spurs. Fructose and glucose were present in equal quantities (43 3.6 and 42 +/- 3.6 g L-1). Sucrose was only detected in one sample, essentially at the limit of detection for the method used. This type of nectar is common in flowers pollinated by passerine perching birds.Conclusions The architecture of nectary trichomes in U. menziesii was similar to that of capitate trichomes of insect-pollinated species in this genus; thus, the most important specializations to bird pollination were flower colour (red), and both spur shape and size modification. Bird pollination is probably a recent innovation in the genus Utricularia, subgenus Polypompholyx, and is likely to have evolved from bee-pollinated ancestors.

AB - Background and Aims Bird pollination is rare among species in the genus Utricularia, and has evolved independently in two lineages of this genus. In Western Australia, the Western Spinebill, Acanthorhynchus superciliosus, visits flowers of Utricularia menziesii (section Pleiochasia: subgenus Polypompholyx). This study aimed to examine the micromorphology of U. menziesii flowers to assess traits that might be linked to its pollination strategy.Methods Light microscopy, histochemistry and scanning electron microscopy were used. Nectar sugar composition was analysed using high-performance liquid chromatography.Key Results The flowers of U. menziesii fulfil many criteria that characterize bird-pollinated flowers: red colour, a large, tough nectary spur that can withstand contact with a hard beak, lack of visual nectar guides and fragrance. Trichomes at the palate and throat may act as tactile signals. Spur nectary trichomes did not form clearly visible patches, but were more frequently distributed along vascular bundles, and were small and sessile. Each trichome comprised a single basal cell, a unicellular short pedestal cell (barrier cell) and a multicelled head. These trichomes were much smaller than those of the U. vulgaris allies. Hexose-dominated nectar was detected in flower spurs. Fructose and glucose were present in equal quantities (43 3.6 and 42 +/- 3.6 g L-1). Sucrose was only detected in one sample, essentially at the limit of detection for the method used. This type of nectar is common in flowers pollinated by passerine perching birds.Conclusions The architecture of nectary trichomes in U. menziesii was similar to that of capitate trichomes of insect-pollinated species in this genus; thus, the most important specializations to bird pollination were flower colour (red), and both spur shape and size modification. Bird pollination is probably a recent innovation in the genus Utricularia, subgenus Polypompholyx, and is likely to have evolved from bee-pollinated ancestors.

KW - Australian bladderwort

KW - bird pollination

KW - carnivorous plant

KW - floral micro-morphology

KW - HPLC

KW - Lentibulariaceae

KW - nectary structure

KW - nectar composition

KW - ornithophily

KW - sect

KW - Pleiochasia

KW - spur

KW - trichomes

KW - AQUATIC BLADDERWORTS

KW - ULTRASTRUCTURE

KW - BIOLOGY

KW - PALATE

U2 - 10.1093/aob/mcy163

DO - 10.1093/aob/mcy163

M3 - Article

VL - 123

SP - 213

EP - 220

JO - Annals of Botany

JF - Annals of Botany

SN - 0305-7364

IS - 1

ER -