alexa Development and Maintenance of a Cross-mixed Mating System in the Orchid Bulbophyllum orientale | OMICS International | Abstract
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Journal of Phylogenetics & Evolutionary Biology
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Research Article

Development and Maintenance of a Cross-mixed Mating System in the Orchid Bulbophyllum orientale

Li-Jun Chen1, Guo-Qiang Zhang1, Li-Qiang Li1, Yu-Ting Zhang1, Wen-Hui Rao1 and Zhong-Jian Liu1-3*
1 Shenzhen Key Laboratory for Orchid Conservation and Utilization, The National Orchid Conservation Center of China and The Orchid Conservation & Research Center of Shenzhen, Shenzhen 518114, China
2 The Center for Biotechnology and BioMedicine, Graduate School at Shenzhen, Tsinghua University, Shenzhen 518055, China
3 College of Forestry, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, China
Corresponding Author : Zhong-Jian Liu
Shenzhen Key Laboratory for Orchid Conservation and Utilization
The National Orchid Conservation Center of China
The Orchid Conservation & Research Center of Shenzhen
Shenzhen 518114, China
Tel: 86-755-25712359
Fax: 86-755-25711928
E-mail: [email protected]
Received March 30, 2014; Accepted March 31, 2014; Published April 10, 2013
Citation: Chen LJ, Zhang GQ, Li LQ, Zhang YT, Rao WH (2014) Development and Maintenance of a Cross-mixed Mating System in the Orchid Bulbophyllum orientale. J Phylogen Evolution Biol 2:124. doi: 10.4172/2329-9002.1000124
Copyright: © 2014 Chen LJ, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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Abstract

Outbreeding is usually advantageous because inbreeding suffers from depression. Nevertheless, mixed mating is very common in nature. We found two co-existing plant types, self-compatible and self-incompatible, in populations of the orchid Bulbophyllum orientale. The floral parts of this plant form a device to promote cross-pollination. Rancid substances are excreted to lure pollinators to the labellum, and pollens are attached to pollinators through a delicate mechanism. Given that many inflorescences and flowers are present on a clone and each inflorescence, respectively, pollinating insects may continuously visit inflorescences of the same clone and flowers of the same inflorescence but rarely continuously visit different populations separated by large distances. Consequently, self-compatible plants produce seeds from both crossing and selfing, and self-incompatible plants only bear crossing seeds. Thus, a crossmixed mating system is created in the population. Individuals capable of producing both crossed and selfed seeds have better chances in natural selection. The strict crossing system is broken down, and a cross-mixed mating system consisting of both mixed mating and strict crossing is formed. The cross-mixed mating system fluctuates with varying behavior of pollinating insects. The mixed mating system is favored because a population has many clone individuals and because each individual has many multi-flower inflorescences in B. orientale. The partial strict crossing is retained, and it can counteract the latent harm caused by selfing and assist in the maintenance of this cross-mixed mating system. The successful evolution of flowering plants is demonstrated by the mode of attraction for pollinating insects, the smart use of the cross-pollinating facility, and the tradeoff between crossing and mixed mating.

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