Understanding the Phylomorphological Implications of Pollinia from Dendrobium (Orchidaceae)


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.

Share and Cite:

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.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] A. Hemsley, M. Collinson, B. Vincent, P. Griffiths and P. Jenkins, “Self-Assembly of Colloidal Units in Exine Development,” In: M. Harley, C. Morton and S. Blackmore, Eds., Pollen and Spores, Morphology and Biology, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, 2000, pp. 31-44.
[2] J. Muller, “Form and Function in Angiosperm Pollen,” Annals of Missouri Botanical Garden, Vol. 66, No. 4, 1979, pp. 594-632. doi:10.2307/2398913
[3] K. J. Niklas, “The Aerodynamics of Wind Pollination,” The Botanical Review, Vol. 51, No. 3, pp. 328-386. doi:10.1007/BF02861079
[4] K. Lunau, “The Ecology and Evolution of Visual Pollen Signals,” Plant Systematics and Evolution, Vol. 222, No. 1-4, 2000, pp. 89-111. doi:10.1007/BF00984097
[5] T. H. Roulston and J. H. Cane, “Pollen Nutritional Con- tent and Digestibility for Animals,” Plant Systematics and Evolution, Vol. 222, No. 1-4, 2000, pp. 187-209. doi:10.1007/BF00984102
[6] M. Grayum, “Correlations between Pollination Biology and Pollen Morphology in the Araceae, with Some Implications for Angiosperm Evolution,” In: S. Blackmore and I. Ferguson, Eds., Pollen and Spores: Form and Func- tion, Academic Press, London, 1986, pp. 313-327.
[7] J. Osborn and C. Philbrick, “Comparative Pollen Structure and Pollination Biology in the Callitrichaceae,” Acta Botanica Gallica, Vol. 141, No. 2, 1994, pp. 257-266.
[8] J. Osborn, T. Taylor and E. Schneider, “Pollen Morphology and Ultrastructure of the Cabombaceae: Correlations with Pollination Biology,” American Journal of Botany, Vol. 78, No. 10, 1991, pp. 1367-1378. doi:10.2307/2445275
[9] N. Tanaka, K. Uehara and J. Murata, “Correlation between Pollen Morphology and Pollination Mechanisms in the Hydrocharitaceae,” Journal of Plant Research, Vol. 117, No. 4, 2004, pp. 265-276. doi:10.1007/s10265-004-0155-5
[10] I. Ferguson and J. Skvarla, “Pollen Morphology in Relation to Pollinators in Papilionoideae (Leguminosae),” Botanical Journal of Linnean Society, Vol. 84, No. 3, 1982, pp. 183-193. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.1982.tb00533.x
[11] H. Wang, R. Mill and S. Blackmore, “Pollen Morphology and Intrageneric Evolutionary Relationships in Some Chinese Species of Pedicularis (Scrophulariaceae),” Plant Systematics and Evolution, Vol. 237, No. 1-2, 2003, pp. 1-17. doi:10.1007/s00606-002-0188-y
[12] L. Averyanov, “A Review of the Genus Dactylorhiza,” In: J. Arditti, Ed., Orchid Biology, Reviews and Perspectives, Timber Press, Portland, 1990, pp. 159-206.
[13] R. Dressler, “Phylogeny and Classification of the Orchid Family,” Dioscorides Press, Portland, 1993.
[14] J. Freudenstein and F. Rasmussen, “Sectile Pollinia and Relationships in the Orchidaceae,” Plant Systematics and Evolution, Vol. 205, No. 3-4, 1997, pp. 125-146. doi:10.1007/BF01464400
[15] U. Pradhan, “Indian Orchids: Guide to Identification and Culture,” Pradhan, Kalimpong, 1979.
[16] P. Burns-Balogh and M. Hesse, “Pollen Morphology of the Cypripedioid Orchids,” Plant Systematics and Evolution, Vol. 158, No. 2-4, 1988, pp. 165-182. doi:10.1007/BF00936343
[17] F. Rasmussen, “The Development of Orchid Classification,” In: A. Pridgeon, P. Cribb, M. Chase and F. Rasmussen, Eds., Genera Orchidacearum, General introduction, Apostasioideae, Cypripedioideae, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1999, pp. 3-12.
[18] R. Schill and W. Pfeiffer, “Untersuchungen an Orchideenpollinien unter Besonderer Berücksichtigung ihrer Feinskulpturen,” Pollen et Spores, Vol. 19, 1977, pp. 105-118.
[19] P. Chesselet and H. Linder, “Pollen Morphology on the Diseae (Orchidoideae; Orchidaceae),” Grana, Vol. 32, No. 2, 1993, pp. 101-110. doi:10.1080/00173139309429460
[20] M. Hesse, “Pollen Wall Stratification and Pollination,” Plant Systematics and Evolution, Vol. 222, No. 1-4, 2000, pp. 1-17. doi:10.1007/BF00984093
[21] C. Arora, “Status of Orchid Species in northwestern Himalayas and Their Conservation, with Special Reference to the Orchid-Rich-Belt in the Kumaon Hills,” In: S. Vij, Ed., Biology, Condervation and Culture of Orchids, East-West Press, New Delhi, 1986, pp. 397-400.
[22] R. John and K. Jack, “Orchids: Sunset Books,” 3rd Edition, Little Brown & Company, New York, 1998, pp. 11- 101.
[23] M. W. Chase, K. M. Cameron, R. L. Barrett and J. V. Freudenstein, “DNA Data and Orchidaceae Systematics: A New Phylogenetic Classification,” In: K. M. Dixon, S. P. Kell, R. L. Barrett and P. J. Cribb, Eds., Orchid Conservation, Natural History Publications, Kota Kinabalu, 2003, pp. 69-89.
[24] M. Clements, “Molecular Phylogenetic Systematics of the Dendrobiinae (Orchidaceae), with Emphasis on Dendrobium sect. Pedilonum,” Telopea, Vol. 10, No. 1, 2003, pp. 247-298.
[25] T. Yukawa, H. Ohba, K. Cameron and M. Chase, “Chloroplast DNA Phylogeny of Subtribe Dendrobiinae (Orchidaceae): Insights from a Combined Analysis Based on rbcL Sequences and Restriction Site Variation,” Journal of Plant Research, Vol. 109, No. 2, 1996, pp. 169-176. doi:10.1007/BF02344542
[26] I. Leitch, I. Kahandawala, J. Suda, L. Hanson, M. Ingrouille, M. Chase and M. Fay, “Genome Size Diversity in Orchids: Consequences and Evolution,” Annals of Botany, Vol. 104, No. 3, 2009, pp. 469-481. doi:10.1093/aob/mcp003
[27] M. Barone Lumaga, S. Cozzolino and A. Kocyan, “Exine Micromorphology of Orchidinae (Orchidoideae, Orchidaceae): Phylogenetic Constraints or Ecological Influences?” Annals of Botany, Vol. 98, No. 1, 2006, pp. 237-244. doi:10.1093/aob/mcl094
[28] A. Pridgeon, “Palynology,” In: A. Pridgeon, P. Cribb, M. Chase and F. Rasmussen, Eds., Genera Orchidacearum, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1999, pp. 33-37.
[29] D. Lau, P. Shaw, J. Wang and P. But, “Authentication of Medicinal Dendrobium Species by the Internal Transcribed Spacer of Ribosomal DNA,” Planta Medica, Vol. 67, No. 5, 2001, pp. 456-460. doi:10.1055/s-2001-15818
[30] Y. Zhang, P. But, Z. Wang and P. Shaw, “Current Approaches for the Authentication of Medicinal Dendrobium Speceis and Its Products,” Plant Genetic Resources, Vol. 3, No. 2, 2005, pp. 144-148. doi:10.1079/PGR200578
[31] H. Wood, “The Dendrobiums,” A.R.G. Ganter Verlag, Ruggell, 2006.
[32] J. Hooker, “Dendrobium,” Flora of British India, Vol. 5, 1890, pp. 710-752.
[33] W. Barthlott, “Morphologie der Samen von Orchideen im Hinblick auf Taxonomische und funktionelle Aspekte,” Proceedings of Eighth World Orchid Conference, Frank- furt, 1976, pp. 444-445
[34] N. Williams and C. Broome, “Scanning Electron Microscope Studies of Orchid Pollen,” American Orchid Society Bulletin, Vol. 45, 1976, pp. 699-707.
[35] E. Yeung, “Mechanisms of Pollen Aggregation into Pollinia in Epidendrum ibaguense (Orchidaceae),” Grana, Vol. 26, No. 1, 1987, pp. 47-52. doi:10.1080/00173138709428903
[36] A. Edlund, R. Swanson and D. Preuss, “Pollen and Stigma Structure and Function: The Role of Diversity in Pollination,” The Plant Cell, Vol. 16, Suppl. 1, 2004, pp. 84-97. doi:10.1105/tpc.015800
[37] G. Erdtman, “Pollen Walls and Angiosperm Phylogeny,” Botaniska Notiser, Vol. 113, 1960, pp. 41-45.
[38] A. Pridgeon, P. Cribb, M. Chase and F. Rasmussen, “Genera Orchidacearum,” Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2001.
[39] N. van der Cingel, “An Atlas of Orchid Pollination,” Balkema Publishers, Rotterdam, 1995.
[40] J. Heslop-Harrison, “Wall Development within the Microspore Tetrad of Lilium longiflorum,” Canadian Journal of Botany, Vol. 46, No. 10, 1968, pp. 1185-1192. doi:10.1139/b68-158
[41] H. Othmer, K. Painter, D. Umulis and C. Xue, “The Intersection of Theory and Application in Elucidating Pattern Formation in Developmental Biology,” Mathematical Modelling of Natural Phenomenon, Vol. 4, No. 4, 2009, pp. 1-80.
[42] R. Bateman, P. Hollingsworth, J. Preston, L. Yi-Bo, A. Pridgeon and M. Chase, “Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution of Orchidinae and Selected Habenariinae (Orchidaceae),” Botanical Journal of Linnean Society, Vol. 142, No. 1, 2003, pp. 1-40. doi:10.1046/j.1095-8339.2003.00157.x
[43] M. Lumga, S. Cozzolino and A. Kocyan, “Exine Micromorphology of Orchidinae (Orchidoideae, Orchidaceae): Phylogenetic Constrain or Ecological Influence?” Annals of Botany, Vol. 98, No. 1, 2006, pp. 237-244. doi:10.1093/aob/mcl094
[44] P. Chattopadhyay, N. Banerjee and B. Chaudhary, “Precise Seed Micromorphometric Markers as a Tool for Comparative Phylogeny of Dendrobium (Orchidaceae),” Floriculture and Ornamental Biotechnology, Vol. 4, 2010, pp. 36-44.

Copyright © 2024 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.