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Seed Set in the 'Male Syconia' of the Common Fig Ficus carica L. (Caprificus)

G. Neeman and J. Galil
The New Phytologist
Vol. 81, No. 2 (Sep., 1978), pp. 375-380
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the New Phytologist Trust
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2433408
Page Count: 7
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Seed Set in the 'Male Syconia' of the Common Fig Ficus carica L. (Caprificus)
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Abstract

Artificial pollination experiments have been carried out with short-styled, female flowers (in functionally male syconia) of the common fig (Ficus carica L., Caprificus). The results support the contention that the short-styled flowers are fertile female flowers capable of producing normal seeds. Inhabitation of the short-styled flowers by the wasp Blastophaga psenes L. not only transformed the flower ovary into a gall and induced the development of parthenogenetic endosperm, but also exerted a significant influence on the development of the fruit. It is likely that consumption of the endosperm by the larvae developing within the ovaries is the stimulus for the development of the unique spongy tissue in the fruits of Caprificus at ripening. Seed-producing caprifigs develop juicy, sweet figs, very similar to ordinary female figs. These fruits are eaten by birds and bats whereas the spongy fruits are neglected.

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