J Syst Evol ›› 2014, Vol. 52 ›› Issue (4): 411-422.doi: 10.1111/jse.12062

• Reviews • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A review of orchid pollination studies in China

1Guang-Da TANG 1Jing-Hui OU 2Yi-Bo LUO 1Xue-Ying ZHUANG* 1,3,4Zhong-Jian LIU*   

  1. 1(College of Forestry, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, China)
    2(State Key Laboratory of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China)
    3(Shenzhen Key Laboratory for Orchid Conservation and Utilization, The National Orchid Conservation Center of China and The Orchid Conservation and Research Center of Shenzhen, Shenzhen 518114, China)
    4(The Center for Biotechnology and BioMedicine, Graduate School at Shenzhen, Tsinghua University, Shenzhen 518055, China)
  • Received:2013-06-20 Online:2013-09-23 Published:2014-01-13

Abstract: Orchid pollination and evolution are common topics in evolutionary biology. China has approximately 1400 orchid species distributed in diverse habitats and account for approximately 5% of the orchid species in the world. These orchids provide us with materials to explore coevolution and organic evolution. We summarized 53 Chinese orchid pollination studies and synthesized their main findings and common patterns. Bees and flies are the main pollinators of Chinese orchids and drive the diversification of Paphiopedilum and Cypripedium. In addition, the patterns are consistent with phylogenetic evolution studies. Almost half of the Chinese orchids use a common food-deceptive pollination strategy to transfer their pollens. Other orchids use Batesian mimicry, brood-site imitation, and green-leaf volatile imitation, which is rare. Holcoglossum amesianum (Rchb. f.) Christenson and Paphiopedilum parishii (Rchb. f.) Stein, which live in insect-scarce habitats, use self-pollination strategies to ensure their reproductive success. However, studies on pollination are in the early stages and comprehensive studies are scarce. Therefore, future studies should involve additional disciplines and techniques, such as chemecologic, electrophysiologic, genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic methods, to evaluate the floral features that attract specific pollinators and to elucidate the patterns of Chinese orchid pollination, evolutionary history, diversification, and speciation between orchids and their pollinators.

Key words: China, diversification, orchid, pollination.

[1] Ying-Ze Xiong, Li-Bing Jia, Chang-Qiu Liu and Shuang-Quan Huang. Effective pollinia transfer by settling moths’ legs in an orchid Habenaria aitchisonii . J Syst Evol, 2020, 58(2): 174-181.
[2] Lu-Liang Huang, Jian-Hua Jin, Cheng Quan, and Alexei A. Oskolski. Mummified Magnoliaceae woods from the upper Oligocene of South China, with biogeography, paleoecology, and wood trait evolution implications . J Syst Evol, 2020, 58(1): 89-100.
[3] Xu Zhang, Hua-Jie Zhang, Jacob B. Landis, Tao Deng, Ai-Ping Meng, Hang Sun, Yan-Song Peng, Heng-Chang Wang, and Yan-Xia Sun. Plastome phylogenomic analysis of Torreya (Taxaceae) . J Syst Evol, 2019, 57(6): 607-615.
[4] Jianhua Li, Mark Stukel, Parker Bussies, Kaleb Skinner, Alan R. Lemmon, Emily Moriarty Lemmon, Kenneth Brown, Airat Bekmetjev, and Nathan G. Swenson. Maple phylogeny and biogeography inferred from phylogenomic data . J Syst Evol, 2019, 57(6): 594-606.
[5] Santiago Martín‐Bravo, Pedro Jiménez‐Mejías, Tamara Villaverde, Marcial Escudero, Marlene Hahn, Daniel Spalink, Eric H. Roalson, Andrew L. Hipp, and the Global Carex Group (Carmen Benítez-Benítez, Leo P. Bruederle, Elisabeth Fitzek, Bruce A. Ford, Kerry A. Ford, Mira Garner, Sebastian Gebauer, Matthias H. Hoffmann, Xiao-Feng Jin, Isabel Larridon, Étienne Léveillé-Bourret, Yi-Fei Lu, Modesto Luceño, Enrique Maguilla, Jose Ignacio Márquez‐Corro, Mónica Míguez, Robert Naczi, Anton A. Reznicek, and Julian R. Starr). A tale of worldwide success: Behind the scenes of Carex (Cyperaceae) biogeography and diversification . J Syst Evol, 2019, 57(6): 695-718.
[6] Ana Otero, Pedro Jiménez-Mejías, Virginia Valcárcel, and Pablo Vargas. Worldwide long‐distance dispersal favored by epizoochorous traits in the biogeographic history of Omphalodeae (Boraginaceae) . J Syst Evol, 2019, 57(6): 579-593.
[7] Xiao-Yan Liu, Sheng-Lan Xu, Meng Han, and Jian-Hua Jin. An early Oligocene fossil acorn, associated leaves and pollen of the ring‐cupped oaks (Quercus subg. Cyclobalanopsis) from Maoming Basin, South China . J Syst Evol, 2019, 57(2): 153-168.
[8] David J. Hearn, Margaret Evans, Ben Wolf, Michael McGinty, Jun Wen. Dispersal is associated with morphological innovation, but not increased diversification, in Cyphostemma (Vitaceae) . J Syst Evol, 2018, 56(4): 340-359.
[9] Jianhua Li, K. Gregory Murray, Pan Li, Kenneth Brown. Differential diversifications of South American and Eastern Asian disjunct genera Bocconia and Macleaya (Papaveraceae) . J Syst Evol, 2018, 56(1): 25-34.
[10] Yuan Huang, Yi-ming An, Shi-yong Meng, Yan-Ping Guo, Guang-Yuan Rao. Taxonomic status and phylogenetic position of Phaeostigma in the subtribe Artemisiinae (Asteraceae) . J Syst Evol, 2017, 55(5): 426-436.
[11] Harald Schneider, Hong-Mei Liu, Yan-Fen Chang, Daniel Ohlsen, Leon R. Perrie, Lara Shepherd, Michael Kessler, Dirk Karger, Sabine Hennequin, Jeannine Marquardt, Stephen Russell, Stephen Ansell, Ngan Thi Lu, Peris Kamau, Josmaily Lóriga Pineiro, Ledis Regalado, Jochen Heinrichs, Atsushi Ebihara, Alan R. Smith, Mary Gibby. Neo- and Paleopolyploidy contribute to the species diversity of Asplenium—the most species-rich genus of ferns . J Syst Evol, 2017, 55(4): 353-364.
[12] Lorenzo Pecoraro, Laiqiang Huang, Tancredi Caruso, Silvia Perotto, Mariangela Girlanda, Lei Cai, Zhong-Jian Liu. Fungal diversity and specificity in Cephalanthera damasonium and C. longifolia (Orchidaceae) mycorrhizas . J Syst Evol, 2017, 55(2): 158-169.
[13] Yi-Xuan Kou, Kun Xiao, Xiao-Rong Lai, Yu-Jin Wang, Zhi-Yong Zhang. Natural hybridization between Torreya jackii and T. grandis (Taxaceae) in southeast China . J Syst Evol, 2017, 55(1): 25-33.
[14] Zhi-Duan Chen, Tuo Yang, Li Lin, Li-Min Lu, Hong-Lei Li, Miao Sun, Bing Liu, Min Chen, Yan-Ting Niu, Jian-Fei Ye, Zhi-Yong Cao, Hong-Mei Liu, Xiao-Ming Wang, Wei Wang, Jing-Bo Zhang, Zhen Meng, Wei Cao, Jian-Hui Li, Sheng-Dan Wu, Hui-Ling Zhao, Zhong-Jian Liu, Zhi-Yuan Du, Qing-Feng Wang, Jing Guo, Xin-Xin Tan, Jun-Xia Su, Lin-Jing Zhang, Lei-Lei Yang, Yi-Ying Liao, Ming-He Li, Guo-Qiang Zhang, Shih-Wen Chung, Jian Zhang, Kun-Li Xiang, Rui-Qi Li, Douglas E. Soltis, Pamela S. Soltis, Shi-Liang Zhou, Jin-Hua Ran, Xiao-Quan Wang, Xiao-Hua Jin, You-Sheng Chen, Tian-Gang Gao, Jian-Hua Li, Shou-Zhou Zhang, An-Ming Lu, China Phylogeny Consortium. Tree of life for the genera of Chinese vascular plants . J Syst Evol, 2016, 54(4): 277-306.
[15] Zhi-Xi Fu, Bo-Han Jiao, Bao Nie, Guo-Jin Zhang, Tian-Gang Gao, China Phylogeny Consortium. A comprehensive generic-level phylogeny of the sunflower family: Implications for the systematics of Chinese Asteraceae . J Syst Evol, 2016, 54(4): 416-437.
Full text



[1] XUE Jian-Ping ZHANG Ai-Min. Studies of Androgenesis in Cultured WheatAnthers from Different Genotypes[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 2002, 19(02): 215 -218 .
[2] Chen Yong-zhe. Propagation and Reproduction of Plants[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1995, 12(03): 62 -64 .
[3] Yao Kun-lin and Meng Fan-jing. Growth and Flowering of the Regenerated Plsnta Induced by Zearalenone[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1994, 11(04): 39 -40 .
[4] Hongbing Fu;Chongshi Cui;Xi Zhao;Qi Liu. Establishment of Cucurbita moschata Genetic Transformation System by Agrobacterium tumefaciens Transfection[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 2010, 45(04): 472 -478 .
[5] Yunfeng Liu;Hongwen Qin;Lei Shi;Huijin Zhang;Lian Liu;Chuangdao Jiang;Delu Wang. Effects of Submergence on Leaf Anatomy and Photoinhibition of Photosystem II in Oenanthe javanica Plants[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 2010, 45(04): 426 -434 .
[6] Yuxiu Zhang;Linfeng Li;Tuanyao Chai;Dan Lin;Hongmei Zhang. Mechanisms of manganese toxicity and manganese tolerance in plants[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 2010, 45(04): 506 -520 .
[7] Lijuan Wang, Linde Liu, Li Zhang, Yanjie Wang, Wei Lian, Zhongwu Jiang, Fuxing Zhang. Stigma Receptivity, Stigma Morphology and Fruit Set of Yantai Sweet Cherry (Cerasus avium)[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 2011, 46(1): 44 -49 .
[8] Zhou Yun-long. A Brief Introduction to Life History of Porphyra[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1985, 3(02): 57 -59 .
[9] Zhang Zhong-ming. Current Status on Male Gametophyte and Fertilization in Ginkgo biloba[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1997, 14(增刊): 6 -12 .
[10] Li Ming-qi and Tang Pei-song. Interrelation and Regulation of Energy Metabolism in Green Cells[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1985, 3(01): 1 -7 .