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Synstigma of neotropical species of Ficus L. (Moraceae) and its role in fig-fig wasp mutualism

Grant number: 12/02374-2
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2012
Effective date (End): July 31, 2015
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Botany
Principal Investigator:Simone de Pádua Teixeira
Grantee:Marina Fernanda Bortolin Costa
Home Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão Preto (FCFRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil


Synstigma is a structure formed by groups of two to several stigmas which acts as a surface of pollen germination. Its occurrence is rare among angiosperms with records in representatives of Moraceae and Rosaceae. In Moraceae, that includes 37 genera and about 1.100 species found in tropical and temperate regions, showing great diversity of inflorescences, reproductive systems and pollination syndromes, the synstigma occurs only in Ficus L. Ficus is the largest genus of Moraceae and it is the only genus of the tribe Ficeae with about 800 species widely distributed in tropical, subtropical and temperate regions. The representatives of Ficus exhibit a diversity of habits and a single type of inflorescence called syconium. The pollination in Ficus is mediated exclusively by wasps of the family Agaonidae that depends on the syconium to develop their offspring. Because of the obligatory mutualistic relationship between fig and fig wasps, Ficus has been the most studied group on evolutionary patterns between plant and pollinator. Two types of pollination are described for Ficus: active and passive pollination. The species belonging to the Americana section show active pollination, which is often related to the presence of synstigma. Considering the importance of synstigma for the mutualism between fig and fig wasp, the aim of this study is to understand the synstigma distribution and morphology of Ficus species in the Americana section. Then it will be performed anatomical (LM) and surface (SEM) studies to elucidate the role of this interesting and important structure to this complex plant-pollinator relationship. (AU)

Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
TEIXEIRA, SIMONE PADUA; COSTA, MARINA F. B.; BASSO-ALVES, JOAO PAULO; KJELLBERG, FINN; PEREIRA, RODRIGO A. S. Morphological diversity and function of the stigma in Ficus species (Moraceae). ACTA OECOLOGICA-INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY, v. 90, n. SI, p. 117-131, JUL 2018. Web of Science Citations: 1.
Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
COSTA, Marina Fernanda Bortolin. Stigma morphology of Ficus L. (Moraceae) and its implications in fig-fig wasp mutualism. 2015. Doctoral Thesis - Universidade Estadual de Campinas. Instituto de Biologia.

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