• Fulltext


        Click here to view fulltext PDF

      Permanent link:

    • Keywords


      Ficus; Agaonidae; pollinators; wasps; ovipositors; style length; coevolution

    • Abstract


      Monoecious figs reward their pollinators—agaonid wasps—by allocating a proportion of the flowers for egg laying, and retain the rest for seed production. It has been suggested that these proportions could be regulated by producing short-styled and long-styled flowers such that pollinator wasps could only use the former as their ovipositor does not reach the ovules of the latter. Thus the wasps can lay eggs only in the short-styled flowers and raise their offspring, and the ovules of uninfested, long-styled flowers can develop into seeds. This implied that figs bear dimorphic female flowers, with a bimodal distribution of style length. However, recent studies have shown that style length is distributed normally, with no evidence of bimodality. Therefore the regulation of allocation of flowers to the wasps does not seem to be through the production of two distinct kinds of female flowers. In this article we suggest that two factors govern the proportion of flowers rewarded to the wasps: (i) passive regulation, which is a consequence of the optimization of wasp ovipositor length, and (ii) active regulation, where figs are selected to enhance the variance of style length. We show that these arguments lead to certain predictions about the optimum ovipositor length, the proportion of the flowers available to the wasps, and the coefficient of variation of style length. We also show that data for 18 fig-wasp associations conform well with these predictions. We finally suggest that the regulatory process outlined here can be extended to evolution of style length in dioecious fig species also.

    • Author Affiliations


      K. N. Ganeshaiah1 Prarthana Kathuria1 R. Uma Shaanker2 R. Vasudeva1

      1. Department of Genetics and Plant Breeding, University of Agricultural Sciences, Gandhi Krishi Vignana Kendra, Bangalore - 560 065, India
      2. Department of Crop Physiology, University of Agricultural Sciences, Gandhi Krishi Vignana Kendra, Bangalore - 560 065, India
    • Dates

  • Journal of Genetics | News

    • Editorial Note on Continuous Article Publication

      Posted on July 25, 2019

      Click here for Editorial Note on CAP Mode

© 2021-2022 Indian Academy of Sciences, Bengaluru.