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Abstract Detail

Phytochemistry: From atoms to organisms

Brochu, Kristen K [1], Lopez-Uribe, Margarita M [2].

Crop domestication drives changes in floral functional traits and pollinator foraging preferences.

Chemical signals are well-known to mediate important interactions between plants and insects that have offered unique opportunities for co-evolution between these two groups. Yet both plants, ecosystems, and landscapes have changed drastically with the advent of plant domestication and modern agricultural practices.  Little is known about how these vast environmental changes have impacted the important interactions of plants and their pollinators in agroecosystems. In North America, squash and pumpkin (genus Cucurbita) are an excellent system to investigate these questions, as there are multiple independent domestication events, as well as a widespread pollinator, the hoary squash bee (Eucera Peponapis pruinosa), that has extended its ancestral range northwards with the domestication of cucurbits. Cucurbits are also visited by generalist bee species, such as honey bees and bumble bees, which have interacted with these plants for a relatively short time. In order to assess how the process of crop domestication changes in functional floral traits and pollinator preferences, we characterized the floral phenotypes of 6 wild and 7 domesticated species in the genus Cucurbita (squash and pumpkins). Specifically, we examined the morphology, volatiles, and nutritional composition of pollen and nectar among wild and domesticated flowers, and quantified pollinator visitation in the field over two years. We found consistent variation in the impact of domestication on floral traits, and differences between generalist and specialist pollinators responses. Our results suggest that artificial selection is likely to be an important force driving evolutionary changes in plant-pollinator interactions on a global scale.

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1 - University of Toronto Scarborough, Biological Sciences, 1265 Military Trail, Toronto, ON, M1C 1A4, Canada
2 - Penn State University, Entomology, 501 ASI Building, Penn State University, University Park, PA, 16802, United States

plant-pollinator interactions

Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Session: C05, Phytochemistry: From Atoms to Organisms
Location: /
Date: Wednesday, July 21st, 2021
Time: 12:30 PM(EDT)
Number: C05009
Abstract ID:1421
Candidate for Awards:None

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