J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2005, Vol. 47 ›› Issue (1): 2-12.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2005.00008.x

• Research Articles •     Next Articles

Pollen Morphology of Parnassia L. (Parnassiaceae) and Its Systematic Implications

Ding WU, Hong WANG, De-Zhu LI and Stephen BLACKMORE   

  • Published:2005-01-01

Abstract: The pollen morphology of 28 species of Parnassia L. was investigated with light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The shape of pollen grains in this genus varies from subspheroidal to prolate in equatorial view and is three-lobed circular in the polar view. Pollen grains are usually radially symmetrical, isopolar, tricolporate or syntricolporate, with reticulate sculpture. The pollen characteristics among species are fairly similar to each other. Morphological information regarding the pollen grains shows that Parnassia is a natural genus. Based on exine ornamentation observed under SEM, three types of pollen grains were recognized: (i) type I, with foveolate-reticulate sculpture; (ii) type II, with a finely reticulate sculpture; and (iii) type III, with a coarsely reticulate sculpture. Most sections of this genus have one type of sculpture of pollen morphology, but Sect. Nectarotrilobos has three types of sculpture and Sect. Saxifragastrum has two types of sculpture. All three types of sculpture can be found in Southwest China, with species with the longest (Parnassia delavayi Franch.) and shortest (Parnassia faberi Oliv.) colpi, implying that Southwest China is the center of diversification of the genus.

Key words: Parnassia L., pollen morphology, systematic implications.

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