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Pollen morphology and variability of Sambucus nigra L. – Adoxaceae

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Abstract

The objective of this study was to investigate the pollen morphology and the ranges of intraspecific and interindividual variability of Sambucus nigra L. S. nigra inflorescences were collected randomly from 66 natural elderberry sites in Poland, Germany and Lithuania. Each individual (shrub) was represented by 30 pollen grains. In total, 1980 pollen grains were measured. Nine quantitative and three qualitative features of the pollen grains were analysed. The diagnostic features of the pollen grains for the studied species were: exine ornamentation (microreticulate-heterobrochate), the length of the polar axis (small pollen) and the pollen shape (ca. 80% prolate-spheroidal and spheroidal pollen grains). These features should be treated as auxiliary because they fail to differentiate individual samples, although they can be helpful in distinguishing groups of samples. For the first time, the intraspecific and interindividual variability of the pollen grains of S. nigra were investigated. Statistically significant differences were found among particular individuals (shrubs) in all pollen grain features, although the most different were the pollen grains from samples (individuals) 7, 8 and 9 collected in Łubiana. There were significant relationships observed between the pollen grain traits and the geographical location of the collection sites.

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Acknowledgements

We kindly thank Nuala Scanlon (English native proofreader) for linguistic support, and Dr. Lee E. Frelich (University of Minnesota, USA) for valuable comments to the manuscript. The study was financially supported by the Institute of Dendrology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kórnik, Poland. We would like to thank the Reviewers for their detailed and valuable comments on the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Dorota Wrońska-Pilarek.

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Wrońska-Pilarek, D., Jagodziński, A.M., Bocianowski, J. et al. Pollen morphology and variability of Sambucus nigra L. – Adoxaceae. Biologia (2020). https://doi.org/10.2478/s11756-019-00396-8

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Keywords

  • Pollen morphology
  • Intraspecific variability
  • Sambucus