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Understanding the Phylomorphological Implications of Pollinia from Dendrobium (Orchidaceae)

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DOI: 10.4236/ajps.2012.36099    4,435 Downloads   7,945 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

We aim to evaluate the evolutionary trends of pollen ultra-structures and microstructures in the light of molecular phylogeny, and to test whether pollen micromorphology is a predictor of interspecific phylogenetic relationship or a consequence of ecological influences. Using scanning electron microscopy pollinia micromorphologies of 18 species of the genus Dendrobium were comprehensively examined. A phylogenetic tree from ribosomal-ITS2 sequences was constructed reflecting molecular phylogeny. In result, two major clusters were identified representing the sections Aporum, Formoase Dendrobium and Holochrysa. The section Dendrobium could be further classified, for the first time, into two clades sharing the same root of origin. Variations in the shape of pollinia were distinct and consistent constituting six novel groups. Other qualitative/quantitative keys to pollinia showed congruence with molecular phylogeny and supported the correlated evolution of these traits. Concurrently pollen sculpturing also showed large variation in exine morphology (rugular/psilate to psilate-scabrate/rugulate-scabrate) providing explicit clues for phylogenetic trend of exine evolution. For the characteristic sculpturing on the pollinia surface, a simple version of pre-pattern model is also hypothesized for deeper insight into pattern formation in other biological systems. Results indicated that distinct groups of Dendrobium species have parallel and independent evolution accompanied with genetic changes occurred during species diversification. Thus pollen micromorphology is a good candidate for inferring the genetic relationship at inter-specific level having phylogenetic implications even using abundant palynological records.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

B. Chaudhary, P. Chattopadhyay, N. Verma and N. Banerjee, "Understanding the Phylomorphological Implications of Pollinia from Dendrobium (Orchidaceae)," American Journal of Plant Sciences, Vol. 3 No. 6, 2012, pp. 816-828. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2012.36099.

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