, Volume 292, Issue 3-4, pp 203-213
Date: 08 Feb 2011

Floral development of Dichocarpum, Thalictrum, and Aquilegia (Thalictroideae, Ranunculaceae)

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We examined the floral development of Dichocarpum fargesii, Thalictrum fargesii, Thalictrum przewalskii, and Aquilegia yabeana in Thalictroideae, Ranunculaceae, by scanning electron microscope. The sepals are initiated spirally in D. fargesii and A. yabeana, and in two pairs (with four sepals) or spirally (with five sepals) in T. fargesii and T. przewalskii. The petals in D. fargesii and A. yabeana and the stamens and carpels are initiated in a whorled pattern in all three genera. The floral phyllotaxis is whorled in these genera. The primordia of sepals are lunular and truncate, but that of petals and/or stamens are hemispherical, rounded, and much smaller than the sepal primordia. A relatively long plastochron exists between the last sepal and the first petal in D. fargesii and A. yabeana or the first stamen in T. fargesii and T. przewalskii. The similarity between the primordia of petals and stamens may indicate an evolutionary relationship between petals and stamens. The petals develop slower than the stamens in D. fargesii, but faster than stamens in A. yabeana. The early developmental stages of the staminodes in A. yabeana are similar to that of stamens, so they may be phylogenetically homologous organs. The carpel primordia are initiated in a single whorl; are lunular in shape and plicate in A. yabeana and D. fargesii; and are initiated spirally and hemispheric in shape and ascidiate in T. fargesii and T. przewlaskii. The stigma is everted and decurrent with unicellular papillae in T. fargesii and T. przewalskii; the head has unicellular papillae in D. fargesii and is smooth in A. yabeana. The floral development features of Aquilegia are unique in Thalictroideae.