The butterworts (Pinguicula L.) comprise a carnivorous plant genus of approximately 80 species with six endemic to the Florida Panhandle. Habitat loss has resulted in five of these southeastern species being state listed, with Pinguicula ionantha also being federally listed. Knowledge of reproductive biology for these species is essential to their conservation. Pinguicula flowers have a unique herkogamic positioning of reproductive structures, which indicates that butterworts may be obligate outcrossers. However, no previous studies have assessed the pollination requirements and/or self-compatibility of butterworts in the southeastern US. This study investigated the breeding system of Pinguicula ionantha. The objectives were to (1) determine if successful pollination and fertilization of P. ionantha requires outcrossing, and (2) to investigate if pollen vectors are required for the species. During February-March, 2013, five populations of P. ionantha within Apalachicola National Forest (ANF), St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve (SJBSBP), Tate’s Hell State Forest (THSF) and Tyndall Air Force Base (TAFB), FL were assessed for autogamy vs. xenogamy. Both open pollination and hand self-pollinated individuals produced over 50% fruit set, indicating pollination and fertilization occurred. Â In addition, one non-pollinated/bagged individual produced a fruit. High fruit set with selfed hand pollinations and low fruit set with non-pollinated individuals suggests that autogamy is possible but extremely limited, and that a pollen vector is required. High fruit set of open pollinated individuals suggests that an insect vector is involved with pollination. However, no pollinators have been identified for P. ionantha. Declines in populations of P. ionantha warrant further investigation into the specific pollen vector(s) required for this self-compatible species.
|Title of host publication
|Botany 2014, Botanical Society of America Annual Meeting; 26-30 July 2014 Boise, Idaho
|Published - 2014