Floral Colour Change in Lantana camara

Chakrapani, Abitha (2018) Floral Colour Change in Lantana camara. UG thesis, Azim Premji University.

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Lantana camara, an invasive plant in India, has brightly coloured inflorescences, whose flowers undergo dramatic colour change. This ontogenetic colour change acts as an honest signal for pollinators, where flower colour reliably advertise the quantity and quality of nectar where pre-colour change flowers contain nectar and pollen and post-colour change flowers lack both. Although the majority of studies have examined the invasive property of Lantana, there are only two papers in India which have investigated the dynamics of colour change of this plant. We have characterized floral colour change in two different cultivars of Lantana camara one that changes colour from yellow to orange to red and another that does change colour and blooms and remains as yellow throughout its life span. Specifically, we examined a) the temporal dynamics of floral colour change - the timing and duration of colour change, b) sugar concentration in flowers of different colour stages. We found that flowers predominantly change colour in the early morning hours, and remain as yellow for two days and orange and red for one day each. We also found that pre-change (yellow) flowers containing less sucrose concentration than post-change flowers (orange and red). And for the first time in literature, we have characterized that periphery flowers have more sucrose concentration than the central flowers in the noncolour changing cultivar. These findings might answer why pollinators have a preference for rewarding-yellow flowers. On the whole, this characteristic—floral colour change helps Lantana to direct its pollinators into fertile flowers so as to maximize its pollination success. Hence such an interaction influences the success of invasive species.

Item Type: Thesis (UG)
Authors: Chakrapani, Abitha
Subjects: Natural Sciences > Life sciences; biology
Divisions: Azim Premji University > School of Arts and Sciences
Full Text Status: Restricted
URI: http://publications.azimpremjiuniversity.edu.in/id/eprint/486
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