The common occurrence of incompletely developed pollen of Eupatorium (Compositae: Eupatorieae)
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Mature anthers of Eupatorium serotinum Michx., E. coelestinum L. and E. purpureum L. (Compositae: Eupatorieae) contain both loose mature pollen grains and acetolysis-resistant extratapetal sacs enclosing clusters of immature pollen. Many sacs contain incompletely developed pollen grains that differ in size diameter, with spines of varying lengths and degrees of acuity and with colpal areas having narrow to markedly protracted margins. We presume that all nutrients for pollen development within sacs come from plasmodial tapetum included therein. Thus, pollen in portions of the sac or in isolated sacs with inadequate plasmodial tapetum may be incompletely developed. Such partial development may result from stress, e.g. insufficient nutrients and water. While our data are from three species of Eupatorium, we have long noted the syndrome in other Eupatorieae and other tribes in the Compositae. Curtailing supplies for development of some portions of an anther could be an evolutionary strategy for survival of the species through periods of stress.
Key wordAnther locule Compositae Eupatorium L extratapetal immature pollen peritapetal pollen sacs tapetum
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