Stigmatic limitations on reproductive success in a paleotropical tree

A honey bee foraging a partly opened flower of Kigelia pinnata (image credit: Raina et al.).

Success in reproduction is subject to the successful initiation as well as successful completion of a chain of consecutive events starting from flower formation and ending with viable seed production. A recent article published by Raina et al. in AoB PLANTS focuses on how thigmotropic stigmas, which open, close and re-open in response to touch, play a role in limiting fruit set of plants in their non-native environment. Their pollination success requires optimum pollen transfer in terms of its quality as well as quantity and is dependent on efficient pollinator visitation. The study is particularly valuable for both horticultural purposes and general botanical research, and the results will improve our ability to understand the behavioural response of exotic plants in non-native environments.