Botany

Pollination – A composite event

Pollination provides information about evolution, ecology, animal learning and foraging behaviour. Flowers not only supply nectar but also provide microclimate, site and shelter for egg laying insects. The association of insects benefits the flower by getting pollinated and ensures the propagation of its own progeny. The floral parts are well modified in shape, size to attract the pollinators to accomplish pollination . T he relationship between Yucca and moth (Tegeticula yuccasella) is an example for obligate mutualism. The moth bores a hole in the ovary of the flower and lays eggs in it. Then it collects pollen and pushes it in the form of balls down the hollow end of the stigma. Fertilization takes place and seeds develop. Larvae feed on developing seeds. Some seeds remain unconsumed for the propagation of the plant species. It is interesting that the moth cannot survive without Yucca f lowers and the plant fails to reproduce sexually without the moth.

Bee Orchid Similarly in Amorphophallus, flowers apart from providing floral rewards, also forms safe site for laying eggs. Many visitors consume pollen and nectar and do not help in pollination. They are called pollen / nectar robbers. In Bee orchid (Ophrys) the morphology of the flower mimics that of female wasp (Colpa). The male wasp mistakes the flowers for a female wasp and tries to copulate. This act of pseudocopulation helps in polli nation. T he pollination in Fig (Ficus carica) by the Wasp (Blastophaga psenes) is also an example for similar Plant – insect interaction.

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