The study of pollen dispersal and mode of fertilization of Vernonia amygdalina and Vernonia calvoana is a prerequisite to the understanding of genetic diversity and elaboration of improvement programs for the Vernonia genus. In this study, precise experimental designs were made for morphological and biological observations on Vernonia species capitulum in order to assess the distinctive effects of each of the three possible pollen transportation agents (insects, wind and rain water) on pollination. Results obtained show that the exclusive mode of pollen dispersal is entomophilous. Even though allogamy and autogamy are observed as two possible modes of fertilization in Vernonia spp., some arguments tend to favour allogamy. However, there is no clear cut position on the issue, hence the need for confirmation by further experimentation in controlled pollination. This study paves the way for the establishment of a genetic improvement program for this genus based on the results on pollen dispersal.
Key words: Vernonia species, allogamy, autogamy, pollination agent.
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