Pollination syndromes in Streptocarpus

Genes controlling floral form and pollination syndromes in Streptocarpus (Gesneriaceae)

Streptocarpus dunnii (left) showing bird-pollination syndrome, the fly pollinated S. rexii (right) and their hybrid (middle). Cover photo Annals of Botany 1999, 84(1).

Floral adaptation to different pollinators is an important mechanism for diversification and speciation in plants. Streptocarpus contains bird, fly and butterfly pollinated species which have been analysed phylogenetically (Harrison et al 1999; Hughes et al 2006). Preliminary evidence suggests a role for CYCLOIDEA-like genes in this adaptation. Crosses between putatively bird and long-tongued fly-pollinated species indicate a co-segregation of pollinator relevant characters with CYCLOIDEA-like genes. We are extending our genetic studies to include putatively butterfly pollinated species and investigate additional genes involved in flower symmetry. Developmental, morphometric and molecular studies on F1 and F2 populations are being carried out on material included in RBGEs research collection. The isolation of floral symmetry genes from the segregating F2 hybrid population and co-segregation studies will illustrate the role of these in this adaptive process.


Michael Möller - Group leader

Chun-Neng (Bruce) Wang - Collaborating Group Leader, Taiwan National University

Pavlos Georgiadis - MSc student 2004/5 


Harrison CJ, Möller M, Cronk QCB. (1999). Evolution and development of floral diversity in Streptocarpus and Saintpaulia. Annals of Botany 84: 49-60. 

Hughes M, MacMaster G, Möller M, Bellstedt DU, Edwards TJ. (2006). Breeding system of a plesiomorphic floral type: an investigation of small flowered Streptocarpus (Gesneriaceae) species. Plant Systematics and Evolution 262: 13-24.

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