Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Published December 12, 2018  (Brief from the Royal Society)
Most flowering plants depend on animal pollinators for producing fertile seeds, but some have evolved wind pollination, a primitive pollination technique. Researchers identified the mechanism driving this transition by characterizing the required physical changes to flowers for switching to wind pollination. They found vibration of flowers’ stamens, the pollen-bearing organ, is key. Plants whose stamens vibrate more easily in wind are more likely to be wind pollinated. Furthermore, natural selection favours plants with more vibrating stamens when plants receive few visits from pollinators.

Lead author: David Timerman, University of Toronto –