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Comparative reproduction mechanisms of three species of Ocimum L. (Lamiaceae)

Oziegbe, Matthew, Kehinde, Temitope Olatayo, Matthew, Joshua Olumide
Acta agrobotanica 2016 v.69 no.1 pp. aa.1648
Apoidea, Ocimum americanum, Ocimum basilicum, autogamy, butterflies, cultivars, flowers, nectar, pollen, seed set, seeds, self-pollination, Nigeria
Ocimum species have a combination of reproductive system which varies with the locality and cultivar. We have studied here the reproductive mechanisms of five variants of three Ocimum species in Nigeria, namely: Ocimum canum Sims., O. basilicum L., and O. americanum L. Flowers from each variant were subjected to open and bagged pollination treatments of hand self-pollination, spontaneous self-pollination and emasculation. All open treatments of the five Ocimum variants produced more fruit and seed than the corresponding bagged treatments. The two O. canum variants and O. basilicum ‘b1’ produced high fruit and seed set in the open and bagged treatments of spontaneous self-pollination. Ocimum basilicum ‘b2’ and O. americanum produced higher fruit and seed set in the self-pollination open treatment but significantly lower fruit and seed set in the bagged treatment. Fewer fruit and seeds were produced in the emasculated open treatments but none in the emasculated bagged treatments of the five Ocimum variants. The floral foragers comprising of bees, wasps and butterflies visited the Ocimum species to collect pollen or nectar in the open treatments. The two O. canum variants and O. basilicum ‘b1’ variant reproduced mainly through autogamy but O. basilicum ‘b2’ and O. americanum showed mixed reproduction of autogamy and outcrosssing. Insect visitation to the flowers enhanced pollination resulting in higher fruit and seed set in all the Ocimum species studied.