Original Article

Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 299, Issue 5, pp 935-948

First online:

Pollen morphology and its taxonomic significance in the tribe Gochnatieae (Compositae, Gochnatioideae)

  • María C. TelleríaAffiliated withLaboratorio de Sistemática y Biología Evolutiva, Museo de La Plata Email author 
  • , Gisela SanchoAffiliated withDivisión Plantas Vasculares, Museo de La Plata
  • , Vicky A. FunkAffiliated withUS National Herbarium, Department of Botany, Smithsonian Institution
  • , Iralys VentosaAffiliated withVicedirección de Plantas Vasculares y Herbario Nacional, Instituto de Ecología y Sistemática, CITMA
  • , Nadia RoqueAffiliated withHerbário Alexandre Leal Costa, Instituto de Biologia, Universidade Federal da Bahia

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In the context of recent molecular phylogenies of the basal grades of Compositae, we investigated the utility of pollen morphology within the tribe Gochnatieae. The pollen of 64 species of Anastraphia, Cnicothamnus, Cyclolepis, Gochnatia, Pentaphorus, and Richterago was studied using light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. In addition, three extra-Gochnatieae genera (Ianthopappus, Leucomeris, and Nouelia) were examined as they were traditionally morphologically related to members of the tribe Gochnatieae. Three of the species of Gochnatieae were examined using transmission electron microscopy. Two pollen types, and two new subtypes, have been recognized on the basis of the pollen shape, size, and exine sculpture. The pollen features of Gochnatia sect. Moquiniastrum and G. cordata are similar and distinctive within the genus and support the recently re-circumscribed section Hedraiophyllum. Within the species with echinate pollen surface, the distinctive spine length of Anastraphia supports its recent resurrection as a genus. The identity of Pentaphorus could not be supported by pollen features as was for other morphological characteristics. The pollen features shared across Cyclolepis, Ianthopappus, Leucomeris, Nouelia and Gochnatia sect. Moquiniastrum, as well as those shared by Richterago and Anastraphia could be a result of parallel evolution.


Gochnatieae Gochnatioideae Compositae Pollen LM SEM TEM