J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2007, Vol. 49 ›› Issue (9): 1400-1408.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2007.00526.x

• Evolution • Previous Articles    

Morphogenesis of Pistillate Flowers of Cercidiphyllum japonicum (Cercidiphyllaceae)

Xiao-Ling Yan, Yi Ren , Xian-Hua Tian and Xiao-Hui Zhang   


Floral morphogenesis and the development of Cercidiphyllum japonicum Sieb. et Zucc. were observed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The results showed that the pistillate inflorescences were congested spikes with the flowers arranged opposite. Great differences between the so-called “bract” and the vegetative leaf were observed both inmorphogenesis and morphology. In morphogenesis, the “bract” primordium is crescent-shaped, truncated at the apex and not conduplicate,has no stipule primordium at the base but does have some inconspicuous teeth in the margin that are not glandular. The leaf primordium is triangular, cycloidal at the apex, conduplicate, has two stipule primordia at the base, has one gland-tooth at the apex occurring at first and some gland-teeth in the margin that occur later. Inmorphology, the “bract” is also different to the vegetative leaf in some characteristics that were also illustrated in the present paper. Based on the hypothesis that the bract is more similar to the vegetative leaf than the tepal, we considered that the so-called “bract” of C. japonicum might be the tepal of the pistillate flower in morphological nature. Therefore, each pistillate flower contains a tepal and a carpel.We did not find any trace of other floral organs in the morphogenesis of the pistillate flower. Therefore we considered that the unicarpellate status of extant Cercidiphyllum might be to highly reduce and advance characteristics that make the extant Cercidiphyllum isolated from both fossil Cercidiphyllum-like plants and its extant affinities.

Key words: Cercidiphyllum japonicum, leaf, morphogenesis, pistillate flower, tepal.

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