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Temporal pattern of floral color change and time retention of post-change flowers in Weigela japonica var sinica Caprifoliaceae

Temporal pattern of floral color change and time retention of post-change flowers in Weigela japonica var sinica Caprifoliaceae

Journal of Systematics and Evolution aop(aop)

DOI: 10.1111/j.1759-6831.2012.00218.x

Floral color changes are common in Weigela and the retention of post-change flowers has been interpreted as a mechanism to increase attractiveness from a long distance and shorten pollinators lingering time on inflorescence (s) of an individual plant. We studied the temporal pattern of floral color change and time required for pollen tube growth in a shrub Weigela japonica var. sinica. The color of the corolla in the species changes from white to red and the color cue from yellow to purple during the 4-day anthesis. The durations of both the white phase and intermediate phase are about one day and the duration of the red phase is about two days. Our studies showed that color change in Weigela japonica var. sinica is age-dependent and independent of pollinator visits and flower pollination. Post-change flowers lost most of both male and female residual reproductive ability and retained no rewards for pollinators. It took at least 3 days for a pollen tube to grow to the ovules and achieve fertilization. Thus, retention of post-change flowers is necessary for the completion of pollen tube growth. Our results show that the temporal pattern of color change and time requirement for pollen tube growth are most likely related events.

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Accession: 036484416

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