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Acta Botanica Brasilica

Print version ISSN 0102-3306On-line version ISSN 1677-941X


CASTRO, Jonas B.  and  SINGER, Rodrigo B.. A literature review of the pollination strategies and breeding systems in Oncidiinae orchids. Acta Bot. Bras. [online]. 2019, vol.33, n.4, pp.618-643.  Epub Nov 25, 2019. ISSN 0102-3306.

Oncidiinae is an exclusively Neotropical orchid subtribe with about 1600 described species and an impressive array of vegetative and floral morphological adaptations. We present the results of a literature survey on the pollination strategies and breeding systems of this orchid subtribe. The flowers are pollinated by a wide range of insects (mostly bees) and, sometimes, hummingbirds. Several genera reward their pollinators with floral resources such as oils, nectar or perfumes. Whereas pollination by oil-gathering bees likely evolved several times within Oncidiinae, exclusive pollination by perfume-gathering male Euglossine bees is likely restricted to a set of closely-related genera. Pollination by food or sexual deception is also present within the subtribe. Up to date, the pollen-vectors of the 92 species of Oncidiinae studied so far are as follows: 84.7 % are pollinated by bees, 6.5 % by wasps, 4.3 % by hummingbirds, 3.2 % by butterflies and 3.2 % by flies. Oncidiinae orchids are preferentially self-incompatible (69.4 % of the species studied so far), some may also present protandry as a mechanism to promote cross-pollination. Fruiting success is generally low. The rate of visitation with subsequent pollination is low, in general, which contributes to the low reproductive success of this plant group.

Keywords : breeding systems; deception; elaiophores; fruiting success; nectaries; Oncidiinae; orchids; osmophores; pollination strategies.

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