Biodiversity Science ›› 2007, Vol. 15 ›› Issue (6): 652-657.doi: 10.1360/biodiv.070207

Special Issue: Studies on Plant–Pollinator Interaction

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Morphological comparison of floral nectaries in Musaceae, with refer-ence to its pollinators

Zongxin Ren1, 2, Hong Wang1﹡   

  1. 1 Key Laboratory of Biodiversity and Biogeography, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kun-ming 650204
    2 Graduate University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049
  • Online:2007-11-20

The floral nectaries of three species of Musaceae s. s. representing the genera Musa, Ensete and Musella were comparatively investigated. Our observations revealed that nectaries of these three genera belonged to the interlocular septal type. In female flowers, nectaries were limited to the upper part of the ovaries above the locules, while in male flowers (with aborted ovaries) nectaries entirely occupied the aborted ovaries. A transection of nectary ducts suggested a complex and highly proliferated labyrinthine structure. The three species shared a few common features in the palisade-like epithelial cells, vascular supplies, and nectary openings. However, they showed some differences in longitudinal section and transectinal outline. The nectaries of Ensete glaucum had the highest starch content, and those of Musa basjoo and E. glaucum had fibrillar material presented in nectar ducts. Pollination syndromes among the three species showed high diversity, while inflorescence and flower characters (such as pendant or erect inflorescences, bract color, nectar volume and production over time, etc.) and pollination patterns were highly correlated. There were no strong correlations between nectary structures and pollinator behavior, although gelatinous or watery nectar was associated with the foraging preference of pollinators.

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