There are around 600 species of passionflowers, but only 8 have been described as having bat-pollinated flowers. All the bat-pollinated passionflowers show a short corona and a long, curved androgynophore. We have studied the development of these flowers and we found out that androgynophore bending occurs very late during flower bud development and is an auxin-dependent phenomenon. The InnerWorld of Passionflowers showcases the work of Marcelo Dornelas and his research group at Universidade Estadual de Campinas in Brazil.
This movie about Passiflora mucronata, a bat-pollinated passionflower, shows that androgynophore bending, a characteristic feature of all bat-pollinated passionflowers, occurs late during flower development. We thank Prof. Ivan Sazima (UNICAMP, Brazil) for the picture of a bat (Glossophaga soricina) pollinating a flower of a Passiflora mucronata plant growing in the “restinga”, a type of vegetation typical from some regions of the Brazilian coast. This type of picture is hard to get as the flowers open only after 1:00 AM and the bats visit the flowers for less than 1 second. We also show X-ray microtomography images obtained from freshly collected flowers and floral buds of Passiflora mucronata.
This image shows a botanical print of Passiflora albida from Edwards’ Botanical Register (vol.8 (1823), plate 677) from the John Innes Centre Historical Collection. Passiflora albida is a synonym of “Passiflora mucronata. For more Passionflowers in the John Innes Centre Historical Collection please follow this link