Casas, A., A. Valiente-Banuet, A. Rojas-Martínez and P. Dávila. 1999. Reproductive biology and the process of domestication of Stenocereus stellatus (Cactaceae) in central Mexico. American Journal of Botany, 86:534-542
Pollination biology, breeding system, and ?oral phenology of the columnar cactus Stenocereus stellatus were studied in wild, wild managed in situ and cultivated populations of central Mexico, in order to examine whether these aspects have been modi?ed under domestication and whether they determine reproductive barriers between wild and manipulated individuals. Individuals of both wild and manipulated populations are self-incompatible, indicating that arti?cial selection has not modi?ed the breeding system. Their pollination biology is also similar. Anthesis is mainly nocturnal, with a peak of nectar production between 0200 and 0400 when the stigma presents maximum turgidity. Nocturnal visitors are the effective pollinators. Nearly 75% of ?owers exposed for nocturnal pollination set fruit, while none of the ?owers exposed for diurnal pollination produced fruits. The bats Leptonycteris curasoae, L. nivalis, and Choeronycteris Mexicana (Glossophaginae) are the most likely pollinators, and their time of foraging is synchronized with the time of nectar production and stigma receptivity in S. stellatus. Bats potentially move pollen over a considerable distance, so there is apparently no spatial isolation to prevent pollen exchange between wild and cultivated populations. Phenological studies showed that there are also no apparent temporal barriers. However, manual cross pollination failed between some domesticated and wild phenotypes, suggesting that gene ?ow between wild and cultivated populations might be limited by pollen incompatibility.