Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How pollinators sculpt flowers

Date:
December 17, 2010
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
For the past 10 years, researchers in Spain have used complex geometric analysis to study how insect pollinators influence the evolution of flower shape.

For the past 10 years, José María Gómez and Francisco Perfectti of the University of Granada have used complex geometric analysis to study how insect pollinators influence the evolution of flower shape.

Through a series of experiments, the researchers found that different pollinators have preferences for distinct variations in flower shape in E. mediohispanicum, a wild herb common in mountainous regions of Spain. For example, large bees preferred flowers with narrow petals; small bees had a preference for wider flowers; bee flies had a preference for rounded flowers. In the wild, flower shapes in different populations of E. mediohispanicum were found to differ significantly according to which type of pollinators were more common in the area. The result is a "geographic mosaic of selection on different [flower] shapes," the researchers write.

Why would insects prefer specific flower shapes? Gómez and Perfectti's research indicates that, in E. mediohispanicum, flower shape is an honest signal of a pollinator's reward. Flowers with shapes preferred by pollinators tend to have higher output of nectar and pollen. The research provides valuable insight into the evolution of a complex trait in flowering plants -- a topic Darwin once described as an "abominable mystery."

The research is published in the November/December issue of the International Journal of Plant Sciences.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. José María Gómez, Francisco Perfectti. Evolution of Complex Traits: The Case of Erysimum Corolla Shape. International Journal of Plant Sciences, 2010; 171 (9): 987 DOI: 10.1086/656475

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "How pollinators sculpt flowers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101110213040.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2010, December 17). How pollinators sculpt flowers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101110213040.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "How pollinators sculpt flowers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101110213040.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India

Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) — A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur on Monday when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs

Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) — Drake University hosts 35th annual Beautiful Bulldog Contest. (April 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
805-Pound Shark Caught Off The Coast Of Florida

805-Pound Shark Caught Off The Coast Of Florida

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) — One Florida fisherman caught a 805-pound shark off the coast of Florida earlier this month. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Foods Are Getting Pricier

Breakfast Foods Are Getting Pricier

AP (Apr. 21, 2014) — Breakfast is now being served with a side of sticker shock. The cost of morning staples like bacon, coffee and orange juice is on the rise because of global supply problems. (April 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:  

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile iPhone Android Web
    Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins