Intraspecific variation in the petal epidermal cell morphology of Vicia faba L. (Fabaceae).
Bailes, Emily J
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Bailes, E. J., & Glover, B. (2018). Intraspecific variation in the petal epidermal cell morphology of Vicia faba L. (Fabaceae).. Flora, 244-245 29-36. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.flora.2018.06.005
At a microscopic scale, the shape and fine cell relief of the petal epidermal cells of a flower play a key role in its interaction with pollinators. In particular, conical shaped petal epidermal cells have been shown to have an important function in providing grip on the surface of bee-pollinated flowers and can influence bee visitation rates. Previous studies have explored interspecific variation in this trait within genera and families, but naturally-occurring intraspecific variation has not yet been comprehensively studied. Here, we investigate petal epidermal cell morphology in 32 genotypes of the crop Vicia faba, which has a yield highly dependent on pollinators. We hypothesise that conical cells may have been lost in some genotypes as a consequence of selective sweeps or genetic drift during breeding programmes. We find that 13% of our lines have a distribution of conical petal epidermal cells that deviates from that normally seen in V. faba flowers. These abnormal phenotypes were specific to the ad/abaxial side of petals, suggesting that these changes are the result of altered gene expression patterns rather than loss of gene function.
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/F016581/1)
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.flora.2018.06.005
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/283533
Attribution 4.0 International
Licence URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/