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J Integr Plant Biol, 1999, 41 (12): -, Research Article
Ontogeny of Staminate and Carpellate Flowers of Schisandra sphenanthera(Schisandraceae)
LIU Zhong and LU An-Ming
The ontogenetic process of the staminate and carpellate flowers of Schisandra sphenanthera Rehd. et Wils., an endemic species to China, was observed for the first time under the scanning electron microscope (SEM). In the staminate flowers, the perianth units and stamens were initiated acropetally in a continuous fasion with 2/5 spiral phyllotaxis, while no female structures were formed. Anthers were differentiated prior to the filaments formation. Throughout all the stages were the stamens arranged spirally on a columniform receptacle. In the carpellate flowers, the initiation sequence of the perianth units and carpels were similar to that of the staminate flowers. In contrast, no male structures were formed. Shortly after initiation, the carpel primordia began their marginal growth besides the apical growth and then appresses were formed on the adaxial surfaces of the primordia. However the lower margins of these appresses were inconspicuous, resulting in conduplicate carpels. Two ovules were developed on the inner surface near either lateral margins of the carpel, shaping laminar placentae. Compared with S. glabra (Brickell) Rehd., a related American species, the evolutionary trend of phyllotaxis of androecia is considered that stamens may change from spiral to approximately whorled arrangement, accompanying with the change of receptacle from a column to a flattened shield. It was also suggested that the stamens being numerous and uncertain in number become certain and decrease in number to 5 (4-7). Sterile stamens are observed and the unisexual nature of the flowers is discussed. Two types of carpel primordia are categorized, corresponding to two types of carpels, namely, ascidiate and conduplicate carpels, respectively.
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