Pollen morphology and infra-generic evolutionary relationships in some Chinese species of Pedicularis (Scrophulariaceae)
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The pollen grains of 32 Chinese species of Pedicularis representing 13 groups within the genus were investigated using light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. The genus is eurypalynous, the apertures may be tricolpate, trisyncolpate, or bisyncolpate and five types of surface ornamentation (microscabrate, microrugulate, retipilate, microreticulate and microfoveolate) were observed. Comparison of the different aperture types using light microscopy allows three pollen types to be distinguished. Examination of exine ornamentation with scanning electron microscopy enabled each pollen type to be divided into two or three sub-types (giving a total of seven sub-types). Pollen morphology within the genus is discussed in relation to infrageneric relationships, evolutionary and pollination biology. There is little correlation with the existing infrageneric taxonomy (some taxonomic groups have more than one pollen type, while the same pollen type may be found in several different species-groups), but greater correlation with the corolla morphology.
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