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Schismatoglottis and Apoballis (Araceae: Schismatoglottideae): A new example for the significance of pollen morphology in Araceae systematics

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Pollen characters in Araceae accord well with recent DNA-based phylogenies, and here we provide a new example of "compass needle" quality in Araceae on the basis of two closely related genera, Schismatoglottis and Apoballis. All investigated Schismatoglottis pollen is psilate (smooth pollen surface) with calcium crystals covering the pollen surface. By contrast, pollen of species transferred to recently resurrected Apoballis (Apoballis acuminatissima and A. mutata) is distinctively echinate (spiny). A unique layer covers the endexine of Schismatoglottis, and the whole pollen surface of Apoballis. Our findings strongly suggest that "Schismatoglottis" species with echinate pollen fall into the genus Apoballis. Moreover, all schismatoglottid taxa perform spathe movements during anthesis to control the movement of pollinators. The spathe movements of Apoballis acuminatissima clearly differ from those known in Schismatoglottis species, and indeed are so far unique for the entire family. This, together with differences in floral odour is strongly suggestive of differences in pollination ecology between the genera Schismatoglottis and Apoballis.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Structural and Functional Botany, University of Vienna, 1030 Wien, Rennweg 14, Austria 2: Department of Plant Science and Environmental Ecology, Faculty of Resource Science and Technology, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, 94300 Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia 3: Pusat Pengajian Sains Kajihayat School of Biological Sciences: , Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 USM, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Publication date: 2012-04-13

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