, Volume 61, Issue 2, pp 175-188
Date: 04 Jun 2009

Comparative seed morphology of Leandra (Miconieae, Melastomataceae)

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Abstract

The seed morphology of 79 species of neotropical Miconieae (Melastomataceae) is presented. These species have been chosen, in majority, from the polyphyletic genus Leandra. A few other species from the polyphyletic genera Miconia, Ossaea, and Clidemia were also sampled, because of potential similarities. Sixteen morphological seed types are defined after analysis through light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. The seed morphology appears to possess a great deal of variability on the level of the overall shape as well as the structure and the surface of the testa. The different types defined here do not match with genera or sections, but rather are composed of species coming from different genera. In comparison with a preliminary molecular phylogeny study done on Leandra, some types of seeds are related to well supported clades. In some cases seed morphology corresponds with natural groups of species, thus being of high phylogenetic importance.