Abolade Oluremi Bolaji, Atanda Samuel Oladejo, Oluwatobi Isaac Adeniran

Reproductive biology of green-stemmed and red-stemmed Basella alba

Abstract Basella alba is an important, underutilised vegetable rich in vitamins and consumed in many parts of the world. However, the reproductive biology of this species is insufficiently known; therefore, this study was performed aiming to fill this knowledge gap. Although green-stemmed and red-stemmed Basella alba share a lot of reproductive attributes in common, the obtained results showed differences in their flower bud apex colour, anther colour, spike colour, days to 50% flowering, plant height at flower bud initiation and the mean number of flowers per spike. In both forms, the floral attributes favoured self-pollination. However, the possibility of cross-pollination among them due to the activities of pollinators such as ants, moths, butterflies and bees suggests a mixed mating system. Furthermore, both forms attained sexual maturity at varying periods, thus indicating the existence of a temporal prezygotic barrier between them and limiting the chances of their hybridisation. They could also be responsible for the ability to remain in their distinct forms even when they exist together in the same habitat.

Doi https://doi.org/10.35513/Botlit.2022.1.9

Keywords germination percentage, isolating mechanism, pollen viability, self-pollination

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