Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 305, Issue 7, pp 549–562 | Cite as

Floral organogenesis and vasculature in Mayacaceae, an enigmatic family of Poales

  • Aline OrianiEmail author
  • Vera L. Scatena
Original Article


Mayacaceae are a small and monogeneric aquatic family including 4–6 species and with an unstable phylogenetic position within Poales. Therefore, the floral development and vasculature were studied in Mayaca fluviatilis and Mayaca sellowiana to better understand interfamilial relationships. In both species, the floral vascular system is organized in six central complexes from which the traces of all floral parts diverge. Both sepals and petals receive three traces, but in the sepals the median and lateral traces do not originate from the same vascular complex, whereas in the petals the median and lateral traces originate from the same complex. Both, ventral and dorsal carpellary traces, vascularize the ovary wall, ascending to the stigma. The sepals are the first organs to be initiated and have a rapid growth. Such structures exhibit glandular trichomes on their margins and remain united, protecting the inner whorls. After sepal development, the petals and the stamens of the outer whorl are initiated, followed by the gynoecium, which appears as an annular primordium. The petals have a markedly delay in development. In M. fluviatilis, the anthers may dehisce before anthesis and self-pollination occurs in the bud. The reduction (loss) of the inner stamen whorl and gynoecium development from an annular primordium link Mayacaceae to the cyperids (Poales). A high similarity in respect to floral vasculature was observed between Mayacaceae and Commelinaceae (Commelinales).


Cyperids Floral anatomy Gynoecium Mayaca Ontogeny Xyrids 



This study was financed in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior—Brasil (CAPES)—Finance Code 001, and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) (grant numbers 168277/2014-0 and 301692/2010-6). We thank the NAP-MEPA, ESALQ-USP for the use of the scanning electron microscope and Renato Salaroli for his assistance. We also thank the two anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments that improved the paper.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências Biológicas (Biologia Vegetal), Departamento de Botânica, Instituto de BiociênciasUNESP - Universidade Estadual PaulistaRio ClaroBrazil

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