• Floral morphs of Justicia adhatoda L. differ in fruit and seed, but not floral, traits or pollinator visitation

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    • Keywords


      Justicia adhatoda L.; fatty acids; floral morphs; plant fitness; pigment pattern; pollinator visitation

    • Abstract


      Pigment patterns in corollas are common, and act as nectar guides for pollinators. We discovered multiple floralmorphs of Justicia adhatoda L. (Acanthaceae) with variable extents of corolla vein pigmentation in a populationin Sariska, Rajasthan. Two floral morphs, one completely white and the other white with dark purplevein pigmentation, were compared in order to investigate any possible differences relating to: (a) corollasurface structure, (b) pollinator visitation, (c) reward for the pollinator, and (d) fitness parameters in themorphs. Both morphs showed similar UV reflectance, had distally located conical cells in petals, indicatedsimilar pollinator visitation and had similar nectar content. Contrastingly, seed germination and seed weightwere significantly higher in the purple-veined morph, while fruit set and seed set were higher in the whitemorph which also showed higher amounts of saturated fatty acids in the seeds. The results about aborted seedsdiffered inconsistently. Thus, variation in corolla pigmentation in J. adhatoda suggests fitness trade-offbetween the morphs with higher fruit and seed set, but lower seed germination and seed weight in the whitemorph compared to the purple-veined. We are led to the possibility of different selective pressures acting on themorphs and resulting in adaptive polymorphism.

    • Author Affiliations



      1. Department of Botany, University of Delhi, Delhi 110 007, India
      2. Present Address: A1/7/1 22nd Cross Street, Besant Nagar, Chennai 600 090, India
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