J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 1992, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (10): -.

• Research Articles •    

Studies on Two Palaeozoic Seeds from China

Li Zhong-ming   

Abstract: This paper reports two species of the seed order Cardiocarpales: Cardiocarpus (?) minor (Wang) emend and Diplotesta sp. which were found in coal balls. The specimens were collected from Taiyan Formation of Upper Carboniferous near Xiedao Village, West Mountain, 'Taiyan City, Shanxi Province and Wangjiazhai Formation of Upper Permian of Wangjiazhai Mine of Shuicheng district, Guizhou Province, China. The two taxa are described and their taxonomy is discussed in detail. The diagnosis of the species (Cardiocarpus (?) minor (Wang) emend) is amended as follows: Seeds bilaterally symmetric and thinner cardioformed, appoximatly 4–6 mm long, 3–4 mm wide in the primary section and less than 2 mm thick in the secondary section. Integument differentiated into three zones. Outer sarcotesta delimkted into four layers: 1) carbonized cuticle partly preserved; 2) epidermis of thin-walled parenchyma 1–2 rows of small cells; 3) hypodermis of secretory tissue containing large cells, uniform in thickness; and 4) parenchyma layer consisting of thin-walled cells in size varying from 20 to 50 μm middle sclerotesta of vertically arranged fibers is bipartite: outer fibers being smaller in diameter and possessing thicker walls than inner fibers. Sclerotesta 80 μm in thickness commissural laterally to form two lateral ribs. Inner endotesta single rowed of parenchymatous cells. Nucellus free except at base which is attached to the integument by narrow nucellar platform. Pollen chamber not observed. The double vascular system includes integumentary strand beneath secretory layer of sarcotesta and nucellar strand which forms a tracheid mentle; the origin of integumentry and nucellar strands unknown. In addition a computerized three-dimensional reconstuction techniqne is utilized to reconstruct membrane like structure of Diplotesta sp. It is suggested that Cardiocarpus (?) minor is different from other species of the genus Cardiocarpus in the distribution of nucellar vascular tissues. This feature is thonght to be one of the important characters of bilaterally symmetrical seeds in a taxonomic view point. Therefore Cardiocarpus minor wang probally represents a menber of another new seed genus, althongh this species remains in the genus Cardiocarpus.

Key words: Coal balls, Carboniferous-Permian, Cardiocarpus minor emended

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