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Brazilian Archives of Biology and Technology

Print version ISSN 1516-8913

Abstract

SILVA, Celice Alexandre; OLIVA, Marco Antonio; VIEIRA, Milene Faria  and  FERNANDES, Geraldo Wilson. Trioecy in Coccoloba cereifera Schwacke (Polygonaceae), a narrow endemic and threatened tropical species. Braz. arch. biol. technol. [online]. 2008, vol.51, n.5, pp. 1003-1010. ISSN 1516-8913.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-89132008000500017.

Trioecy, the co-occurrence of the males, females, and hermaphrodite morphs in natural populations, is a rare and poorly studied breeding system. It is expressed in Coccoloba cereifera, an endemic, and endangered species from the rupestrian fields of Serra do Cipó, southeastern Brazil. Male individuals produce staminate flowers but no fruits. Female individuals produce pistillate flowers and set fruits. Both staminate and pistillate flowers present non-functional organs of the opposite sex that simulate perfect flowers. Hermaphrodite individuals produce two different perfect flowers, each one belonging to distinct individuals, and set fruits. Perfect flowers differ in the amount of pollen produced, in pollen viability, and in some morphological traits. Two Hymenoptera species visited the flowers sporadically. The low natural fructification indicated a limited pollination, while the fruit set recorded in bagged pistillate flowers indicated agamospermy. Female individuals represent more than 40% of the population studied and must be the result of agamospermic seeds.

Keywords : agamospermy; breeding systems; Coccoloba cereifera; sex determination; sexual morphs; trioecy.

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