Pollinator and flowering plants are evolutionarily associated for millions of years and thus they may act reciprocally as selective force. In the pollination process, pollen transfer is the primary mechanism for natural selection occurs in this interaction, while pollinators and plants effectively need to feed and reproduce, respectively. Recently researchers developed methods for quantifying selection and plant-pollinator interactions became interesting systems for their application. These methods are used for measuring the association between fitness variation and phenotypic differences among individuals to infer on evolutionary outcomes in short term. In this proposal, we aim to apply those methods in the specialized bee-plant mutualism involving Krameria grandiflora and oil-collecting bees. We propose to evaluate whether flower shape/symmetry and oil-production are traits under pollinator-mediated selection.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: