Pollen morphology of JapaneseSymplocos (Symplocaceae)

  • Hidetoshi Nagamasu


The pollen morphology of all 23 Japanese species ofSymplocos (1 of subgenusEusymplocos, and 22 of subgenusHopea) was comprehensively studied using LM, SEM and TEM, and found to be classifiable into two types (Type I and II) primarily on the basis of wall structure. Type I, characterized by a thick tectum lacking a supratectal structure and reduced columellae, occurs in subgenusEusymplocos, while Type II, characterized by a thin tectum with a supratectal structure and generally distinct columellae, occurs in subgenusHopea. Resemblances in wall structure suggest a closer relationship of subgenusEusymplocos to subgenusMicrosymplocos as well as of subgenusHopea to subgenusEpigenia. This fact contradicts the earlier proposed infrageneric classification, and may require its revision. Within Type II, five subtypes are recognized primarily on the basis of sculpture combined with other pollen characters. Systematic value of sculpture (i.e., subtype), aperture morphology and “globules”, as well as certain species relationships based on those characters, are also discussed.

Key words

Palynology Pollen Symplocaceae Symplocos Taxonomy 


  1. Barth, O.M. 1979. Pollen morphology of BrazilianSymplocos species (Symplocaeae). Grana18: 99–107.Google Scholar
  2. —. 1982. The sporoderm of BrazilianSymplocos pollen types (Symplocaceae). Grana21: 65–69.Google Scholar
  3. Brand, A. 1901. Symplocaceae. Das Pflanzen Reich, Heft 6. Verlag von Wilhelm Engelmann, Leipzig.Google Scholar
  4. Cronquist, A. 1981. An Integrated System of Classification of Flowering Plants. Columbia Univ. Press, New York.Google Scholar
  5. Echlin, P. andH. Godwin. 1968. The ultrastructure and ontogeny of pollen inHelleborus foetidus L. I. The development of the tapetum and Ubisch bodies. J. Cell Sci.3: 161–174.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. El-Ghazaly, G. andW.A. Jensen. 1986. Studies of the development of wheat (Triticum aestivum) pollen. I. Formation of the pollen wall and Ubisch bodies. Grana25: 1–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Erdtman, G. 1952. Pollen Morphology and Plant Taxonomy. Angiosperms. Almqvist & Miksell. Stockholm.Google Scholar
  8. —. 1960. The acetolysis method. Svensk. Bot. Tidskr.54: 561–564.Google Scholar
  9. Hara, H. 1948. Enumeratio Spermatophytarum Japonicarum I. Iwanami-syoten, Tokyo.Google Scholar
  10. Hatusima, S.. 1936. Miscellaneous notes on the Symplocaceae of Eastern Asia. J. Jap. Bot.12: 279–283.Google Scholar
  11. Heslop-Harrison, J. andH.G. Dickinson. 1969. Fine relationship of sporopollenin synthesis associated with tapetum and microspore inLilium. Planta84: 199–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Ikuse, M. 1956. Pollen Grains of Japan. Hirokawa Publ., Tokyo.Google Scholar
  13. Kitamura, S. andG. Murata. 1971. Coloured Illustrations of Woody Plants of Japan I. Hoikusha, Osaka (in Japanese).Google Scholar
  14. Meijden, R. van der. 1970. A survey of the pollen morphology of the Indo-Pacific species ofSymplocos (Symplocaceae). Pollen et Spores12: 513–551.Google Scholar
  15. Nagamasu, H. 1987. Notes onSymplocos lucida and related species in Japan. Acta Phytotax. Geobot.38: 283–291 (in Japanese).Google Scholar
  16. Nakai, T. 1927. Trees and Shrubs Indigenous in Japan Proper I, rev. ed. Seibundo-syoten, Tokyo (in Japanese).Google Scholar
  17. Nakamura, J. 1943. Diagnostic characters of pollen grains. Sci. Rep. Tohoku Imp. Univ. Ser. IV.17: 491–512.Google Scholar
  18. Nakamura, J. 1980a. Diagnostic characters of pollen grains of Japan I. Special Publ. Osaka Mus. Nat. Hist.13 (in Japanese).Google Scholar
  19. Nakamura, J.. 1980b. Diagnostic characters of pollen grains of Japan II. Special Publ. Osaka Mus. Nat. Hist.12 Google Scholar
  20. Nooteboom, H.P. 1975. Revision of the Symplocaceae of the old world, New Caledonia excepted. Leiden Univ. Press, Leiden.Google Scholar
  21. Shimakura, M. 1972. Palynomorphs of Japanese plants. Special Pub. Osaka Mus. Nat. Hist.5 (in Japanese).Google Scholar
  22. Ubisch, G. von. 1927. Zur Entwicklungsgeschichte der Antheren. Planta3: 490–495.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Japan 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hidetoshi Nagamasu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Botany, Faculty of ScienceKyoto UniversityKyoto

Personalised recommendations