A contribution to the ultrastructural knowledge of the pollen exine in subtribe Inulinae (Inuleae, Asteraceae)

  • A. Pereira Coutinho
  • A. M. Dinis


To better understand the relationships within the Asteroideae and Inuleae, the structure of the pollen exine was investigated in seven genera and nine species of the subtribe Inulinae using LM, TEM and SEM. All taxa have a senecioid pattern of exine. The tectal complex consists of three main layers that differ in thickness and morphology: a tectum, a columellar layer, and a layer consisting of the basal region of the columellae. The absence or the vestigial condition of the foramina is considered as a plesiomorphy within the Asteroideae. All taxa have a complex apertural system that consists of an ecto-, a meso-, and an endoaperture. These apertures intersect respectively the tectal complex, the foot layer and the upper part of the endexine, and the inner layer of the endexine. A continuous transition among the different species of Inulinae was found for all the quantitative characters examined. This relative homogeneity of the pollen morphological characters enhances the naturality of the subtribe Inulinae.


Pollen exine Inulinae Inuleae taxonomy cladistics electron microscopy 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Botany (Laboratory of Electron Microscopy and Palynology), Faculty of Sciences and TechnologyUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal

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