Goodyera procera is an endangered terrestrial orchid in Hong Kong. Information on its reproductive biology and pattern of genetic variation is needed to develop efficient conservation strategies. Pollination experiments showed that the species is self-compatible, but dependent on pollinators for fruit set. Bagged plants produced no fruits. Artificial pollinations resulted in 92% fruit set through selfing, 94% with geitonogamous pollination, and 95% following xenogamous pollination. Fruit set in the open-pollinated control was 75% at the same sites. Allozyme electrophoresis and random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) were used to evaluate genetic variation and structure of 15 populations of Goodyera procera. Despite its outbreeding system, allozyme data revealed low variation both at the population (P = 21.78%, A = 1.22, and H = 0.073) and species (P = 33%, A = 1.33, and H = 0.15) levels, in comparison with other animal-pollinated outbreeding plant species. However, RAPD variation was relatively high (P = 55.13% and H = 0.18 at the population level. and P = 97.03% and H = 0.29 at the species level). G estimates indicated high levels of genetic differentiation among populations (G = 0.52 and I = 0.909 ± 0.049 based on allozyme data, and G = 0.39 and I = 0.859 ± 0.038 based on RAPD data), much above the average for outcrossing species, suggesting that gene flow was limited in this species. Based on these data, suitable strategies were developed for the genetic conservation and management of the species.
Mangroves consist of a group of taxonomically diverse species representing about 20 families of angiosperms. However, little is known about their reproductive biology, genetic structure, and the ecological and genetic factors affecting this structure. Comparative studies of various mangrove species are needed to fill such gaps in our knowledge. The pollination biology, outcrossing rate, and genetic diversity of Aegiceras corniculatum were investigated in this study. Pollination experiments suggested that the species is predominantly pollinator‐dependent in fruit setting. A quantitative analysis of the mating system was performed using progeny arrays assayed for intersimple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers. The multilocus outcrossing rate ( t m ) was estimated to be 0.653 in a wild population. Both allozyme and ISSR were used to investigate genetic variation within and among populations. The combined effects of founder events and enhanced local gene flow through seedling dispersal by ocean currents apparently played an important role in shaping the population genetic structure in this mangrove species. Both allozyme variation ( P = 4.76%, A = 1.05, H E = 0.024) and ISSR diversity ( P = 16.18%, A = 1.061, H E = 0.039) were very low at the species level, in comparison with other woody plants with mixed‐mating or outcrossing systems. Gene differentiation among populations was also low: allozyme G ST = 0.106 and ISSR G ST = 0.178. The unusually high genetic identities (0.997 for allozyme and 0.992 for ISSR loci), however, suggest that these populations are probably all descended from a common ancestral population with low polymorphism.
Lactoris fernandeziana, monotypic in its family, is endemic to the cloud forests of Robinson Crusoe Island. Although there has been considerable study of the relationships of Lactoris, as a rare species and as a putative primitive paleoherb, little is known of its reproductive biology. Knowledge of the latter is essential for effective conservation programs. The species is gynomonoecious. The overall proportion of flowers is ∼1 female:1 hermaphrodite. The inconspicuous semipendulous green flowers, usually in mixed-gender inflorescences, do not produce rewards. Hermaphrodite flowers are herkogamous and protogynous. Pollen grains are shed from the extrorse anthers in permanent dry tetrads. There is a mean of 12879 tetrads per hermaphrodite flower. Both flower types bear an average of ∼18 ovules. The P/O (pollen/ovule) ratios imply facultative or obligate xenogamy, but hand pollinations show that Lactoris is self-compatible. No floral visitors were ever observed, but stigmata of open-pollinated flowers bore tetrads, and 64% of such styles had pollen tubes. Flowers enclosed in large mesh (1 mm) bags bore similar numbers of tetrads and pollen tubes. Thus, we conclude that Lactoris is anemophilous, a syndrome perhaps reflected by the P/O ratio. Low genetic diversity (isozymes and DNA) supports selfing and implies limited distance wind pollen dispersal. The small size of the island, the ± 1000 extant Lactoris plants, coupled with anemophily, self-compatibility, and pendant flower position, have yielded a geitonogamous system with high seed set and low genetic diversity. If inbreeding depression is expressed, it is in seed germination and seedling vigor, for Lactoris is very difficult to cultivate. For this species, effective conservation practices need to focus on habitat preservation and promotion of outcrossing.
Pollination biology, breeding system, and floral phenology of the columnar cactus Stenocereus stellatus were studied in wild, wild managed in situ and cultivated populations of central Mexico, in order to examine whether these aspects have been modified under domestication and whether they determine reproductive barriers between wild and manipulated individuals. Individuals of both wild and manipulated populations are self-incompatible, indicating that artificial selection has not modified the breeding system. Their pollination biology is also similar. Anthesis is mainly nocturnal, with a peak of nectar production between 0200 and 0400 when the stigma presents maximum turgidity. Nocturnal visitors are the effective pollinators. Nearly 75% of flowers exposed for nocturnal pollination set fruit, while none of the flowers exposed for diurnal pollination produced fruits. The bats Leptonycteris curasoae, L. nivalis, and Choeronycteris mexicana (Glossophaginae) are the most likely pollinators, and their time of foraging is synchronized with the time of nectar production and stigma receptivity in S. stellatus. Bats potentially move pollen over a considerable distance, so there is apparently no spatial isolation to prevent pollen exchange between wild and cultivated populations. Phenological studies showed that there are also no apparent temporal barriers. However, manual cross pollination failed between some domesticated and wild phenotypes, suggesting that gene flow between wild and cultivated populations might be limited by pollen incompatibility.
The aims of this study were: (i) to quantify near-infrared optical properties of normal cervical tissues and high-grade squamous intra-epithelial lesions (H-SIL); (ii) to assess the feasibility of differentiating normal cervical tissues from H-SIL on the basis of these properties; and (iii) to determine how cervical tissue optical properties change following photodynamic therapy (PDT) of H-SIL in vivo. Using the frequency domain photon migration technique, non-invasive measurements of normal and dysplastic ecto-cervical tissue optical properties, i.e. absorption (μa) and effective scattering coefficients, and physiological parameters, i.e. tissue water and haemoglobin concentration, percentage oxygen saturation (%SO2), were performed on 10 patients scheduled for PDT of histologically-proven H-SIL. Cervix absorption and effective scattering parameters were up to 15% lower in H-SIL sites compared with normal cervical tissue for all wavelengths studied (674, 811, 849, 956 nm). Following PDT, all μa values increased significantly, due to elevated tissue blood and water content associated with PDT-induced hyperaemia and oedema. Tissue total haemoglobin concentration ([TotHb]) and arterio-venous oxygen saturation measured in H-SIL sites were lower than normal sites ([TotHb]: 88.6 ± 35.8 μmol/l versus 124.7 ± 22.6 μmol/l; %SO2: 76.5 ± 14.7% versus 84.9 ± 3.4%).
Concern regarding the conservation status of small, isolated populations of the arctic-alpine plant species Lloydia serotina prompted research to establish the status and performance of this species in Wales, in comparison with large populations in its more typical alpine habitat. Relationships between reproductive strategies and genetic variation were investigated in a number of populations, representing a wide habitat, geographic and population size range. In all populations, vegetative reproduction predominates over sexual reproduction, but seed produced is viable and germinates readily under controlled conditions. Smaller, peripheral populations produced fewer flowers and seeds than the larger ones, but all populations studied supported significant percentages (>30%) of male plants, due to either the occurrence of androdioecy in this species or to a resource limited breeding system. Analysis of allozyme variation in sixteen populations from North America, the European Alps and Wales showed lower levels of genetic variation in smaller populations which averaged 1.1-1.2 alleles per locus and 10-20% of loci polymorphic, whereas larger populations averaged 1.4 alleles per locus and 30-40% polymorphic loci. This applied especially to the most northerly and southerly populations in North America, suggesting the occurrence of genetic drift in these small, peripheral populations. F-statistics suggest relatively high levels of differentiation among smaller populations, even among those closely related geographically, but genetic variation has been retained in all but one population, possibly due to infrequent sexual reproduction by long lived clones. RAPD analysis of four small populations in Wales provided further evidence of clonal growth and possible inbreeding dominating a mixed mating reproductive system with consequent genetic structuring in these populations.
The potential for environmental heterogeneity to generate spatial structuring of genotypes in seed-plant populations that occupy patchy habitats has been demonstrated by several studies, but little is known about the population structure of pteridophytes occupying patchy environments. In this study we have examined the genetic structure of isolated populations of the rock fern Asplenium csikii, an ecological specialist, growing almost exclusively on perpendicular walls of natural rock outcrops. All genetic variation observed in this taxon was partitioned between localities; no allozyme variation was found within a site and each site was colonized by a single multilocus phenotype (MLP). In total, five different MLPs were recorded from the nine localities, with two MLPs present at more than one site. Previous examination of population structure and genetic diversity in another rock fern, A. ruta-muraria, showed that the genetic diversity increases through multiple colonization over time. However, we cannot find any such correlation for A. csikii. All populations are genetically uniform, despite the probably considerable age of the populations and sites. Earlier studies concluded that the ample production of wind-borne propagules would lead to multiple colonization of sites and that reproductive features, such as single-spore colonization and subsequent intragametophytic selfing, would lead to very little genetic structuring of fern populations. In contrast to this prediction, it appears that ecological specialization and the scarcity of the narrowly defined niche contribute strongly to the pronounced partitioning of genetic variability observed in populations of A. csikii.
Titi monkeys (Callicebus spp., Cebidae) are monogamous neotropical primates that live in family-like groups typically consisting of an adult monogamous pair and one or two young. Knowledge about the reproductive biology of this genus is scanty. This study investigated the reproductive biology of female dusky titi monkeys (Callicebus moloch). An initial analysis characterized reproductive parameters of 32 females from a captive colony maintained for 23 years at the California Regional Primate Research Center (CRPRC), The colony records provided data on reproductive parameters such as interbirth intervals, seasonality, age at first pregnancy, and reproductive rate in captivity, Changes in urinary levels of estrone conjugates (E1C) and pregnanediol-3alpha-glucuronide (PdG;) were used to characterize major reproductive events. Urine samples from eleven females were collected during 17 months. The endocrine data were used to examine changes associated with cycling, conception, and the post-partum period as well as to determine the duration of the ovarian cycle and gestation length. The analysis of colony records indicated that females whose infant survived through weaning gave birth at intervals remarkably close to one year, while those who lost their offspring showed a significantly shorter interval, As long as they Lived within the family group, mature female offspring did not breed. The analysis of the endocrine profiles indicated that after giving birth to a viable offspring, females undergo a relatively prolonged period of anovulation (approx. 6.5 months), followed by 1-3 non-conceptive cycles (approx, 1 month), after which they conceive and gestate (4.3 months). Am. J. Primatol, 47:183-195, 1999. (C) 1999 Wiley-Liss, Inc.