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The Botanical Review

, Volume 71, Issue 3, pp 354–414 | Cite as

Palynological characters and their phylogenetic signal in Rubiaceae

  • Steven Dessein
  • Helga Ochoterena
  • Petra De Block
  • Frederic Lens
  • Elmar Robbrecht
  • Peter Schols
  • Erik Smets
  • Stefan Vinckier
  • Suzy Huysmans

Abstract

In the 1990s Rubiaceae became a hot spot for systematists, mainly due to the comprehensive treatment of the family by Robbrecht in 1988. Next to the exploration of macromolecular characters to infer the phylogeny, the palynology of Rubiaceae finally received the attention it deserves. This article aims to present a state-of-the-art analysis of the systematic palynology of the family. The range of varíation in pollen morphology is wide, and some of the pollen features are not known from other angiosperm taxa; e.g., a looplike or spiral pattern for the position of apertures in pantoaperturate grains. We compiled an online database at the generic level for the major pollen characters and orbicule presence in Rubiaceae. An overview of the variation is presented here and illustrated per character: dispersal unit, pollen size and shape, aperture number, position and type, sexine ornamentation, nexine pattern, and stratification of the sporoderm. The presence/absence and morphological variation of orbicules at the generic level is provided as well. The systematic usefulness of pollen morphology in Rubiaceae is discussed at the (sub)family, tribal, generic, and infraspecific levels, using up-to-date evolutionary hypotheses for the different lineages in the family. The problems and opportunities of coding pollen characters for cladistic analyses are also treated.

Keywords

Botanical Review Pollen Type Pollen Morphology Pollen Character Pollen Size 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven Dessein
    • 1
    • 3
  • Helga Ochoterena
    • 2
  • Petra De Block
    • 3
  • Frederic Lens
    • 1
  • Elmar Robbrecht
    • 3
  • Peter Schols
    • 1
  • Erik Smets
    • 1
  • Stefan Vinckier
    • 1
  • Suzy Huysmans
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Plant Systematics, Institute of Botany and MicrobiologyCatholic University of LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.Instituto de BiologiaUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoMexico CityMexico
  3. 3.National Botanic Garden of BelgiumDomein van BouchoutMeiseBelgium

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