Publications by authors named "Ernest Tshamekeng"

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Functional heterostyly in Tylosema esculentum (Caesalpinioideae).

Ann Bot 2002 Jan;89(1):67-76

Department of Biological Sciences, Queen Mary, University of London.

Tylosema esculentum is a long-lived perennial species endemic to arid areas of southern Africa. Its potential as a crop species has long been recognized as a result of the high oil and protein content of its seeds. The reproductive biology and breeding systems of the species were investigated in wild and experimental populations growing in Botswana. Field observations confirmed that the species is heterostylous with the pistil and anthers exhibiting reciprocal heights in the two morphs, although pollen size and sculpturing do not vary. The wet, nonpapillate stigma characteristic of the species is the first to be reported in the Caesalpinioideae. In vivo and in vitro diallel crossing experiments demonstrated that a diallelic self-incompatability system exists in T. esculentum. The major site of pollen tube inhibition in the intramorph crosses was found to be in the style. This is the first report of functional heterostyly in the Fabaceae and of a confirmed self-incompatibility system in the Caesalpinioideae. Three separate lines of evidence, the monitoring of fruit development in open-pollinated plants, fruit set in diallel crossing experiments, and observations made in wild populations, demonstrated that fruit set and, by implication, seed set, are very low in this species. Floral abscission was a major limitation to the production of mature pods but there were also significant losses at other developmental stages of fruit production. The results suggest that low seed set may be an adaptation of the species to an environment in which rainfall is scarce.
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January 2002