Determining the Contribution of Epidermal Cell Shape to Petal Wettability Using Isogenic Antirrhinum Lines

HM Whitney, R Poetes, U Steiner, L Chittka, BJ Glover

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The petal epidermis acts not only as a barrier to the outside world but also as a point of interaction between the flower and potential pollinators. The presence of conical petal epidermal cells has previously been shown to influence the attractiveness of the flower to pollinating insects. Using Antirrhinum isogenic lines differing only in the presence of a single epidermal structure, conical cells, we were able to investigate how the structure of the epidermis influences petal wettability by measuring the surface contact angle of water drops. Conical cells have a significant impact on how water is retained on the flower surface, which may have indirect consequences for pollinator behaviour. We discuss how the petal epidermis is a highly multifunctional one and how a battery of methods, including the use of isogenic lines, is required to untangle the impacts of specific epidermal properties in an ecological context.
Translated title of the contributionDetermining the Contribution of Epidermal Cell Shape to Petal Wettability Using Isogenic Antirrhinum Lines
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)article - e17576
Number of pages5
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011

Bibliographical note

Publisher: Public Library of Science

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