Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-09873-z
Title: Pollination of Ficus elastica: India rubber re-establishes sexual reproduction in Singapore
Authors: Harrison, R.D
Chong, K.Y 
Pham, N.M
Yee, A.T.K
Yeo, C.K 
Tan, H.T.W 
Rasplus, J.-Y
Keywords: microsatellite DNA
plant DNA
evolution
Ficus
physiology
pollination
reproduction
Singapore
Biological Evolution
DNA, Plant
Ficus
Microsatellite Repeats
Pollination
Reproduction
Singapore
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Citation: Harrison, R.D, Chong, K.Y, Pham, N.M, Yee, A.T.K, Yeo, C.K, Tan, H.T.W, Rasplus, J.-Y (2017). Pollination of Ficus elastica: India rubber re-establishes sexual reproduction in Singapore. Scientific Reports 7 (1) : 11616. ScholarBank@NUS Repository. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-09873-z
Abstract: Ficus elastica, otherwise known as India Rubber (although its geographical origins are unclear), was an important source of latex in the early 19th century and was widely cultivated in tropical Asia. Like all figs, F. elastica is dependent on tiny, highly specific wasps for pollination, and detailed studies based out of Singapore in the 1930s suggested that through the loss of its pollinator F. elastica was extinct in the wild. However, around 2005 wild seedlings of F. elastica began appearing in Singapore. We identified the pollinator as Platyscapa clavigera, which was originally described from F. elastica in Bogor in 1885. A visit to Bogor Botanical Gardens revealed that not only was F. elastica being pollinated by P. clavigera in the gardens, but there was clear evidence it had been reproducing naturally there over many decades. Although Singapore has a native fig flora of over 50 species, F. elastica went unpollinated for at least 70 years and probably from the time it was introduced during the 19th century. These observations illustrate the extraordinary specificity of this interaction and, through the fig's ability to wait for its pollinators, demonstrates one way in which such highly specific interactions can be evolutionarily stable. © 2017 The Author(s).
Source Title: Scientific Reports
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/174398
ISSN: 2045-2322
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-09873-z
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