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Morphology and function of secretory trichomes of the syconium of Ficus species (Moraceae)

Grant number: 24/02374-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2024
Effective date (End): May 31, 2025
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Botany - Plant Morphology
Principal Investigator:Simone de Pádua Teixeira
Grantee:Giseli Donizete Pedersoli
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão Preto (FCFRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:22/12533-2 - Biology of secretory cell in rosales species, AP.BTA.R


Ficus is the largest genus of Moraceae and has peculiar inflorescences called figs or syconia. Figs are pollinated by Agaonidae female fig wasps that enter into the syconium to lay their eggs. This nursery pollination system is one of the most-studied of tropical mutualism interactions. Recent studies show a diversity of glands in the syconium, such as trichomes and secretory idioblasts, laticifer, osmophores and colleters. In this project, we will highlight the secretory trichomes, due to their diverse distribution, morphology, chemical composition of the exudate and functions in plants. Considering the great diversity of habits and ecologies observed in Ficus, it is likely that the secretory trichomes present in the syconia have diversity of location, forms and secretion dynamics, playing importante roles in the mutualismo fig tree-fig wasps. Thus, the objectives of this project are to locate and characterize in detail the secretory trichomes and their exudate in inflorescences of four Ficus species belonging to different sections. To this end, syconia will be collected at various stages of their reproductive cycle and processed for morphological, histochemical and ultrastructural cytochemistry analyses. Evolutionary and ecological aspects will also be discussed.

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