CAS Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Mengla, Yunnan, 666303 China

Center for Plant Ecology, Core Botanical Gardens, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Mengla, 666303 China

Kunming Survey & Deauthorize Institute of State Foresattempt and also Grassland Administration, Kunming, Yunnan, 650216 China

Search for even more papers by this author

Spencer C. H. Barrett

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto, 25 Willcocks Street, Toronto, ON, M5S 3B2 Canada

Search for more records by this author

Ji-Qin Yang

CAS Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Mengla, Yunnan, 666303 China

Search for more files by this author

Jian-Li Zhao

Yunnan Key Laboratory of Plant Refertile Adaption and Evolutionary Ecology, Yunnan College, Kunming, Yunnan, 650091 China

Laboratory of Ecology and also Evolutionary Biology, State Key Laboratory for Conservation and Utilization of Bio-Resources in Yunnan, Yunnan University, Kunming, Yunnan, 650216 China

Search for more papers by this author

Yong-Mei Xia

CAS Key Laboratory of Tropical Foremainder Ecology, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Mengla, Yunnan, 666303 China

Search for more records by this author

Corresponding Author

Qing-Jun Li

Yunnan Key Laboratory of Plant Reabundant Adaption and also Evolutionary Ecology, Yunnan College, Kunming, Yunnan, 650091 China

Laboratory of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, State Key Laboratory for Conservation and Utilization of Bio-Resources in Yunnan, Yunnan University, Kunming, Yunnan, 650216 China

Author for correspondence:

Qing-Jun Li

Tel: +86 871 65030660

Yong-Li Fan

CAS Key Laboratory of Tropical Foremainder Ecology, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Mengla, Yunnan, 666303 China

Center for Plant Ecology, Core Botanical Gardens, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Mengla, 666303 China

Kunming Survey & Deauthorize Institute of State Foresattempt and Grassland Administration, Kunming, Yunnan, 650216 China

Search for more files by this author

Spencer C. H. Barrett

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, College of Toronto, 25 Willcocks Street, Toronto, ON, M5S 3B2 Canada

Search for even more records by this author

Ji-Qin Yang

CAS Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Mengla, Yunnan, 666303 China

Search for more documents by this author

Jian-Li Zhao

Yunnan Key Laboratory of Plant Refertile Adaption and Evolutionary Ecology, Yunnan University, Kunming, Yunnan, 650091 China

Laboratory of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, State Key Laboratory for Conservation and also Utilization of Bio-Resources in Yunnan, Yunnan College, Kunming, Yunnan, 650216 China

Search for even more files by this author

Yong-Mei Xia

CAS Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Mengla, Yunnan, 666303 China

Search for even more records by this author

Corresponding Author

Qing-Jun Li

Yunnan Key Laboratory of Plant Reabundant Adaption and Evolutionary Ecology, Yunnan University, Kunming, Yunnan, 650091 China

Laboratory of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, State Key Laboratory for Conservation and also Utilization of Bio-Resources in Yunnan, Yunnan University, Kunming, Yunnan, 650216 China

Author for correspondence:

Qing-Jun Li

Tel: +86 871 65030660

*
PDF
Please evaluation our Terms and also Conditions of Use and examine box listed below to share full-text version of write-up.

You are watching: Angiosperms do not need water for fertilization. why


Shareable Link

Use the link listed below to share a full-message variation of this short article via your friends and also colleagues. Discover even more.


Water-mediated fertilization is common in at an early stage land also plants. This ancestral mode of fertilization has actually, but, mainly been considered to have been lost in the time of the evolutionary history of terrestrial flowering plants. We investigated refertile mechanisms in the subtropical ginger Cautleya gracilis (Zingiberaceae), which has actually two pollen conditions – granular and also filidevelop masses – depending on exterior conditions. We tested whether rain transcreated granular pollen into filidevelop masses and whether this then supported pollen-tube growth and also fertilization of ovules. Using experimental manipulations in the field we investigated the contribution of water-mediated fertilization to seed production. Rain led to granular pollen to form filiform masses of germinating pollen tubes, which transported sperm to ovules, resulting in fertilization and also seed set. Flowers exposed to rain produced considerably even more seeds than those protected from the rain, which retained granular pollen. Insect pollicountry made just a restricted contribution to seed set because rainy problems restricted pollinator organization. Our outcomes expose a previously undescribed fertilization system in flowering plants involving water-mediated fertilization engendered by rain. Water-mediated fertilization is likely to be adaptive in the subtropical monquickly atmospheres in which C.gracilis occurs by ensuring reabundant assurance once persistent rain stays clear of insect-mediated pollination.


Introduction

Eco-friendly algae are the far-off ancestors to terrestrial plants, and also fertilization in this team occurs in aquatic settings mediated by water (Bold & Wynne, 1985; Clifton & Clifton, 1999). In early land plants, such as ferns, lycopods, horsetails and also bryophytes (mosses, liverworts and also hornworts), fertilization relies on a consistent layer of moisture, making these taxa poorly adjusted to terrestrial problems that endure extended dry durations (Longton & Schuster, 1983; Glime, 2013). Hence, water-mediated fertilization has been taken into consideration a unique function of early land plants in which motile sperm are the agents of male gamete dispersal (Niklas, 1997; Raven etal., 2005). By comparison, in seed plants (gymnosperms and angiosperms), this dependency on water is very limited bereason pollen, the highly diminished male gametophyte generation, is the agent of male gamete dispersal and is more resistant to desiccation than sperm (Pacini, 2000). In most seed plants fertilization is accomplished complying with pollen dispersal by wind or animals (Faegri & Van der Pijl, 1971), although in the c.350 species of hydrophilous angiosperms (0.1% of the angiosperms), water is the primary agent of pollen dispersal (Sculthorpe, 1967; Cox, 1988; Ackerman, 2000).

Currently, the prevailing check out is that water-mediated fertilization has been lost throughout the evolutionary background of terrestrial flowering plants because it is nonadaptive (Cronberg etal., 2006). Certainly, fertilization mechanisms independent of water represent a far-ranging refertile creation that is intimately connected through the eco-friendly and evolutionary success of seed plants. Nevertheless, flowers have countless opportunities to enrespond to water, particularly in the create of rain, raising the possibility that water-mediated fertilization may have been overlooked in some terrestrial angiosperms and might have adaptive worth in environments that experience persistent rain.

Flowering plants release pollen to the outside setting throughout anthesis. Pollen is dehydrated and also quiescent at this stage, protected and encased in a reasonably impermeable hard sporopollenin coat preserving viability throughout dispersal. Pollen grains consequently rehydrate and also germinate after landing on stigmatic surencounters, some of which are wet (reperceived in Taylor & Hepler, 1997; Franklin-Tong, 2010). It is generally fatal for pollen to contact water prior to adhering to the stigma, and also diverse morphological and also biochemical mechanisms have actually advanced to safeguard pollen from rain (Eisikowitch & Woodell, 1974; Mao & Huang, 2009). Pollen grains have the right to burst in much less than a couple of minutes in countless species (Corbet & Plumridge, 1985; Mao & Huang, 2009), and also indeed water is supplied as an emasculation tool for the production of hybrid cotton (Gossypium hirsutum), because cotton pollen loses vicapacity after a brief exposure to water (Burke, 2002). Water has been a far-reaching abiotic selective pressure in the remanufacturing biology of flowering plants (Jones, 1967; Sun etal., 2008; Mao & Huang, 2009; Wang etal., 2010), with most research study focused on methods that amelioprice the harmful effects of water on pollicountry and also mating. By contrast, the potentially positive effects of water on plant reproduction in terrestrial angiosperms have been largely ignored, aside from the noticeable needs of water for plant development.

Here, we report a previously unrecognized water-mediated fertilization device in a terrestrial flowering plant. Cautleya gracilis (Smith) Dandy (Fig.1a), a perennial herb in the ginger household (Zingiberaceae), occurs in moist valleys over 1800m asl in subtropical southwestern China. Flowering occurs from June to August during the monquickly seachild. Individual flowers open in the early morning and wither throughout late evening. In spite of their brief period of anthesis, many flowers endure rain owing to the seakid in which they flower. In our preliminary observations of stamens in the field, we discovered two pollen conditions: granular (Fig.1b) and a filiform mass (Fig.1c) depending upon external weather problems. This exploration motivated us to evaluate the hypothesis that pollen transdevelopment was induced by water (rain) and also played an essential function in remanufacturing.

*

Figure 1
Open in number viewerPowerPoint
Water-mediated fertilization in Cautleya gracilis. (a) Freduced of C.gracilis; (b) anther in dry problem depicting granular pollen on the anther and also very closely connected stigma; (c) anther and stigma from a flower based on rain showing mass filicreate pollen tubes; (d) micrograph from a flower based on rain; the arrowhead identifies pollen tubes elongated from a naturally wetted anther towards the stigma; (e) panoramic micrograph from a freduced based on rain, reflecting numerous pollen tubes that have grvery own from the anther via the stigma into the style. For (d) and (e), the tissue was stained with aniline blue and also observed under a fluorescence microscope.
We start by documenting the floral biology of C.gracilis, consisting of pollinator observations, compatibility status and the facility for autonomous self-pollination and the timing of this process. Having establimelted this fundamental information, we then addressed 3 questions: under area problems does rain stimulate pollen germination and also pollen-tube growth; what is the contribution of water-mediated fertilization to open-pollinated seed production on rainy days; to what degree does pollinator-mediated pollination add to seed production? Our results revealed 3 distinctive reproductive mechanisms causing seed set in C.gracilis: pollinator-mediated pollicountry and autonomous self-pollicountry throughout rainmuch less days, and rain-mediated self-fertilization on rainy days. Rain resulted in pollen to germinate and develop pollen tubes moving sperm to ovules and also achieving fertilization. This novel fertilization strategy appears to be the major reason of seed production in the species.

Materials and also Methods

Study system and sites

Our research study on C.gracilis was conducted in the time of 5 flowering seasons from 2009 to 2013. We schosen populaces at three sites to conduct field research studies in Yunnan province, southwestern China: Lincang (LC populace, 24°10′N, 99°37′E, altitude 2260m), Yangbi (YB population, 25°40′N, 100°02′E, altitude 2340m) and Ailao Mountain (AM populace, 24°32′N, 101°01′E, altitude 2480m). The distance between each populace is c.100kilometres. The majority of the fieldwork was performed at LC. C. gracilis inbehavior rock walls in moist valleys at LC and YB, however is epiphytic on trees at AM. Individuals of C.gracilis can create a number of inflorescences, with just one flower open at a time on each inflorescence.

Floral biology, pollinator monitorings and compatibility status

To collect standard indevelopment on the fldental biology of C.gracilis, we randomly schosen c.30 plants at LC and tape-recorded the number of flowers per inflorescence, the timing of anthesis, floral longevity, pollen problem and also we also established the autonomous self-pollicountry mechanism. We determined c.20 flowering individuals to document monitorings of insects visiting flowers and also their foraging behavior from early morning to late evening for 6d in each populace, in both rainy and rainless conditions throughout each July from 2009 to 2013.

To determine the compatibility standing and also facility for autonomous self-pollination, we randomly selected single flowers from c.90 plants scattered throughout the populace at LC throughout July 2010, and these were bagged prior to anthesis and evenly assigned to 3 treatments throughout rainless days: flowers hand-pollinated making use of pollen grains from the same freduced and also bagged (self-pollination); flowers emasculated before anthesis, hand-pollinated in the time of anthesis via pollen from various other people and also bagged (cross-pollination); and flowers unmanipulated and also bagged to prevent insect visitors (autonomous self-pollination). We gathered mature fruits 30d after the therapies to recognize seed number. We supplied a generalized direct model to test for differences in seed number among the 3 treatments, followed by a least considerable distinction (LSD) test for multiple comparisons. Finally, we additionally emasculated and bagged c.30 flowers before anthesis to test for apomixis, but we discovered no proof for this phenomenon in the species.

When does autonomous self-pollicountry take place during rainless days?

To identify the timing of autonomous self-pollicountry in C.gracilis, we schosen single freduced buds from c.210 plants at LC, and also these were bagged to prevent insect visitors during the whole 1d period of anthesis. We randomly and evenly assigned flowers among seven groups: anthers removed 2.5h after anthesis; anthers rerelocated 4h after anthesis; anthers rerelocated 6h after anthesis; anthers rerelocated 8h after anthesis; anthers rerelocated 10h after anthesis; anthers removed 12h after anthesis; and anthers left intact (NC). We collected mature fruits 30d after the therapies to determine seed number. We provided a generalized direct design to research distinctions in seed number complied with by an LSD test for multiple comparisons.

Does rain-induced germicountry of pollen bring about ovule fertilization?

First, we examined the various pollen conditions in C.gracilis to recognize whether the filiform pollen made up germinated pollen through pollen tubes. To confirm this, we fixed samples of anthers with the granular and the filidevelop pollen in FAA solution (formaldehyde, acetic acid, ethanol at 1:1:18 ratio) in populations at all 3 study sites. Each sample was later stained through aniline blue (0.1% in 0.1moll−1 CH3COOK) and also oboffered under a fluorescence microscope (Zeiss LSM710; Carl Zeiss AG, Oberkochen, Germany).

We then hypothesized that the insitu pollen germination in the field was caused by rain. To test this, we perdeveloped two sepaprice experiments. In the initially experiment, single flowers from c.150 individuals were randomly selected on rainy days in LC during July 2011. We bagged inflorescences through single flowers making use of nylon mesh, which excluded visitors but enabled rain to permeate bags. Plants were evenly and also randomly allocated to 2 treatments: bagged flowers were safeguarded from rain making use of plastic covers; and bagged flowers were left undamaged and also wetted by rain. We then established the condition of pollen grains at 2h after the treatments were erected. In the second experiment, to further investigate the impact of water on pollen germicountry, we gathered granular pollen grains from single flowers from 20 plants on a sunny morning in LC. We then performed 2 treatments under field conditions: in the initially, c. 50% of the pollen grains from each flower were inserted on a sexpedition of dry filter paper on a glass slide; and also in the second, the staying pollen grains were placed on moist filter paper on a glass slide. We then examined the condition of pollen grains 2h after the treatments under a stereo microscope (Leica M50; Leica Camera AG, Wetzlar, Germany). The filter paper with germinated pollen was resolved in FAA solution for additionally laboratory observation.

In addition, we established if rain-induced pollen germination outcomes in ovule fertilization by tracking the growth of pollen tubes in pistils. Single flowers from 30 individuals were randomly selected on days via early on morning rain in LC in the time of July 2011 and 2012. We bagged inflorescences using nylon mesh before flowering, which excluded visitors yet enabled rain to penetrate bags. We gathered the pistils and anthers via insitu germinated pollen at 08:00h as soon as autonomous self-pollination had not occurred, hence excluding pollen from autonomous self-pollicountry. We resolved the samples of anthers and also pistils in FAA solution. Each sample was later stained with aniline blue and the expansion of pollen tubes and ovule penetration was observed under a fluorescence microscope.

What is the contribution of water-mediated fertilization to seed production?

We hypothesized that rain-mediated ovule fertilization would certainly promote seed production of C.gracilis throughout rainy problems. To test this hypothesis, we compared the seed collection of bagged flowers either exposed to or sheltered from the rain in the LC populace in the time of the monshortly seaboy. In enhancement, we evaluated whether delayed self-pollination can additionally promote seed production in C.gracilis. To identify this, we compared the seed collection of bagged flowers either through anthers rerelocated at 16:00h or left intact, on both rainy and rainmuch less days. We selected two patches (A and also B) separated by 1.5km to conduct the experiments at LC in July 2011. In each patch, we randomly selected single flowers from c.320 plants and also travellers were excluded during the entire 1d period of anthesis. We evenly divided flowers from each patch into 2 groups: plants sheltered by plastic covers throughout the entire 1d period of anthesis to defend pollen from daily rain and therefore pollen germination on anthers (group 1); and plants exposed to rain (group 2). We checked each flower at 16:00h on the day of anthesis to confirm that pollen from team 1 was ungerminated and also pollen from group 2 was germinated on anthers. We built up mature fruits 30d after the treatments to recognize seed number. Keep in mind that a preliminary experiment demonstrated that sheltering on rainy days did not affect seed collection. We supplied a generalized straight solved impacts version to test for distinctions in seed number per fruit among therapies because of the nonnormality of data, with pollen problem, therapy, patch and also their interactivity considered in the analysis.

We predicted that rain-mediated fertilization would maximize ovule fertilization under rainy conditions. To test this, we compared seed production from rain-mediated fertilization with what occurs when flowers are hand also self-pollinated. We randomly selected single flowers from c.100 plants at LC and also percreated two therapies in July 2011: in the initially, c.50 flowers were sheltered by plastic, bagged and hand also self-pollinated on rainy days; in the second, c.50 flowers were bagged and also exposed to rain on rainy days. We collected fruits c.30d after treatments for seed counting. We compared seed number per fruit between the 2 therapies utilizing a t-test.

To even more evaluate the prestige of rain-mediated fertilization to seed manufacturing, we established the contribution of insect pollinators to seed production. This was assessed by quantifying the contribution of seed manufacturing by pollinator-mediated pollicountry under both rainmuch less and rainy conditions at LC and also YB in 2012. We evenly assigned single flowers from c.120 plants to two groups at each site: in one team, plants were exposed to rainless days, and also in the various other, plants were exposed to rainy days. For each group, flowers were evenly alsituated to 2 treatments: open-pollicountry (i.e. intact and also unmanipulated) seed collection, a treatment that provides indevelopment on open-pollinated seed production; and also emasculation of flowers before anther dehiscence and exposure to pollinators. The second therapy was designed to prevent intrafldental self-fertilization, however permitted pollicountry by pollinators. Therefore, the seed production for this treatment shows the potential for pet pollicountry and the availcapacity of pollinators under different weather problems. We collected fruits c.30d after therapies for seed counting. We offered a generalised straight resolved impacts version to test for distinctions in seed number per fruit among therapies because of the nonnormality of data, through anther removal, environment, population and also their interaction considered in the analysis.

To evaluate whether rain had actually an result on seed manufacturing apart from facilitating pollen germination, we randomly selected single flowers from c.100 plants and percreated two therapies during July 2011 in LC: in the initially, c.50 flowers were bagged and also hand self-pollinated on sunny days; and in the second, c.50 flowers were sheltered, bagged and also hand also self-pollinated on rainy days. We quantified seed collection per fruit and used a t-test to recognize if tbelow was a difference in seed number between the 2 treatments.

In our examine, all analyses were percreated using the statistical software R v.3.3.0 (R Core Team, 2016). File for all t-tests were checked for normality and also homogeneity of variance and also were transformed as essential. All the generalised straight models were run using the vehicle package with the quasi-Poisboy distribution because of the overdispersed information (Fox etal., 2013).

Results

Floral biology, pollinator observations and also compatibility status

Cautleya gracilis had 6.9±0.3 flowers (mean±SE) per inflorescence, with one freduced open up at a time on each inflorescence. Flowers were scented and also opened up synchronously at c.04:00h in each populace and also withered at c.21:00h, lasting C.gracilis pollen was granular (Fig.1b; Supporting Information Fig.S1a). In the LC populace, two species of bees (Elaphropoda magrettii and Amegilla yunnanensis) were the main pollinators of flowers contacting sex organs during foraging for nectar. On rainless days we oboffered a expect of 2.8±0.31visitsh−1 (n=25h of observation). By comparison, on rainy days in the time of the monshortly duration, visitation by pollinators was much lessened, 0.08±0.05 visitsh−1 over 33h of observation. In populaces YB and also AL, we observed no insect visitors, regardmuch less of whether or not it rained.

We uncovered that stigmatic liquid was consistently secreted during the flowering of C.gracilis and this developed a globule on the stigma at c.10:00h (Fig.1b). Pollen grains cshed to the stigma adhered to the stigmatic fluid, hence achieving autonomous self-pollicountry on rainless days. This autonomous self-pollicountry device has previously been reported in one more species of ginger (Roscoea debilis; Fan & Li, 2012), which is the sister genus of Cautleya.

See more: Can You Use Laundry Soap To Wash Dishes With Laundry Detergent?

There was no considerable distinction in seed number per fruit in between hand also self- or cross-pollinated flowers (Fig.2), indicating that plants of C.gracilis are highly self-compatible. Bagged flowers created substantially reduced seed collection than hand-pollinated flowers during rainless days (Fig.2), indicating that, although C.gracilis has actually some capacity for autonomous self-pollicountry in the time of rainmuch less days, it is not enough to carry out complete reabundant assurance under pollen-limited problems.