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Abstract Detail

Reproductive Processes

Reyes-Palencia, Jaime [1], Jimenez, Pedro [2], Jaramillo, M Alejandra [3].

Floral biology and flower visitors of cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.).

Theobroma cacao L. is an economic important species worldwide. Cocoa productivity is affected by water shortages, diseases and the high number of aborted flowers. One path to increase cocoa production is to increase pollination success. As a first step on this path, we studied floral biology and pollination in detail. Studies carried out in the middle of the 20th century indicated that the cocoa pollinators were only Diptera of the genus Forcypomia. Since the 1940s, agronomists have assumed these flies are the sole pollinator of cocoa plants. Recently, several researchers have questioned whether cocoa pollinator is exclusively Forcypomia. To enlighten the discussion, we studied floral phenology and floral visitors in traditional cocoa plantations in Colombia. On the floral phenology we observed anthesis, flower morphometric, stigmatic receptivity and pollen viability. We registered floral visitors and potential pollinators on 24 hour schedule. Our study was done on cocoa trees in the Magdalena River Valley, one of the most productive areas in cocoa in Colombia. The flowers open for two (2) days, after anthesis the stamens open liberating pollen charges (most of it on the petals) and after one day the stigmas became, flowers wilt on the third day after anthesis. The main floral visitors are insects from the orders Hymenoptera (e.g. bees, ants and wasps), Thysanoptera, Diptera and Coleoptera. Bees were observed not only to visit the flowers but also we registered large pollen loads on their body and legs . Visitors were different from night and day, and we found differences in the taxa present in farms near forests and faraway. We conclude that the pollination of cocoa depends on a diversity of insects that visit the flowers during daytime. Follow-up studies need to determined if these potential pollinators are the same in different part of the world were cocoa is cultivated. Funded by Unviersidad Militar Nueva Granada Grant # INV-CIAS 2945

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1 - Universidad Militar Nueva Granada, Applied Biology, Km2 Via Cajica-Zipaquira, Cajica, Colombia
2 - Universidad Militar Nueva Granada, Applied Biology, Km2 Via Cajic√° Zipaquir√°, Cajica, Colombia
3 - Universidad Militar Nueva Granada, Applied Biology, Km 2 Cajica-Zipaquira, Cajica, Colombia

floral visitors

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: RP2, Reproductive Processes 2
Location: /
Date: Thursday, July 22nd, 2021
Time: 12:30 PM(EDT)
Number: RP2001
Abstract ID:445
Candidate for Awards:None

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