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      Morphofunctional Traits and Pollination Mechanisms of Coronilla emerus L. Flowers (Fabaceae)

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          Abstract

          It is accepted that the papilionaceous corolla of the Fabaceae evolved under the selective pressure of bee pollinators. Morphology and function of different parts of Coronilla emerus L. flowers were related to their role in the pollination mechanism. The corolla has a vexillum with red nectar lines, a keel hiding stamens and pistil, and two wing petals fasten to the keel with two notched folds. Pollinators land on the complex of keel and wings, trigger the protrusion of pollen and finally of the stigma from the keel tip. Data on pollen viability and stigma receptivity prove that flowers are proterandrous. The results of hand-pollination experiments confirmed that insects are fundamental to set seed. Interaction with pollinators allows not only the transport of pollen but also the rupture of the stigmatic cuticle, necessary to achieve both allogamy and autogamy. Field observations showed that Hymenoptera, Lepidoptera, and Diptera visited the flowers. Only some of the Hymenoptera landed on the flowers from the front and elicited pollination mechanisms. Most of the insects sucked the nectar from the back without any pollen transfer. Finally, morphological and functional characteristics of C. emerus flowers are discussed in terms of floral larceny and reduction in pollination efficiency.

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          Most cited references 40

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          Adaptive Radiation of Reproductive Characteristics in Angiosperms, I: Pollination Mechanisms

           G. Stebbins (1970)
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            The Terminology of Floral Larceny

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              Evaluation of pollen viability by enzymatically induced fluorescence; intracellular hydrolysis of fluorescein diacetate.

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                Author and article information

                Affiliations
                Dipartimento di Arboricoltura, Botanica e Patologia Vegetale, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Via Università 100, 80055 Portici, Italy
                Author notes
                *Giovanna Aronne: aronne@ 123456unina.it

                Academic Editors: M. Cresti and M. Holsters

                Journal
                ScientificWorldJournal
                ScientificWorldJournal
                TSWJ
                The Scientific World Journal
                The Scientific World Journal
                1537-744X
                2012
                30 April 2012
                : 2012
                3361249
                22666114
                10.1100/2012/381575
                Copyright © 2012 Giovanna Aronne et al.

                This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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                Research Article

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