The genetic consequences of worker ant pollination in a self-compatible, clonal orchid

Rod Peakall, Andrew J. Beattie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The self-compatible orchid Microtis parviflora is pollinated by the flightless worker caste of the ant Iridomyrmex gracilis. The orchid is clonal and forms small patches of disconnected individual ramets. Ant pollinators visited and revisited a limited proportion of available inflorescences; 40% of all flower visits occurred within plants promoting self-pollination. Self-pollination accounted for 51% of pollen transfers. Distribution of ant movements between plants was leptokurtic with a mean of 12.4±14.9cm and a maximum of 89cm, but a high proportion of movements were within clones accentuating the level of self-pollination. However, some pollen transfers between inflorescences of unlike genotypes contributed to a low incidence (max 8%) of outcrossing. In 12 patches examined by electrophoresis, the density varied from 11-61 inflorescences m-2 and a maximum of only four genotypes were detected. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1837-1848
Number of pages12
JournalEvolution
Volume45
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1991

Keywords

  • ant
  • ant foraging
  • ant pollination
  • clone
  • inbreeding
  • Iridomyrmex gracilis
  • Microtis praviflora
  • orchid
  • pollen flow
  • population
  • genetic structure

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