New insights into the pollen morphology of the genus Mutisia (Asteraceae, Mutisieae)

  • M. C. Tellería
  • L. Katinas
Original Article


The pollen morphology from 67 collections representing 52 species of Mutisia was analyzed by means of light, scanning electron and transmission electron microscopy. Pollen of Mutisia is comparable to that of the more widespread type found in Mutisiinae. The pollen grains of the genus are characterized by the spheroidal-subprolate to prolate shape, large size, tricolporate aperture, with mesoaperture, exine Mutisia type, with sculpturing microechinate to rugulate or microechinate-rugulate. This basic pollen type is very variable in size, endoaperture shape, and exine thickness of the pollen grains. A new type of arrangement of columellae was observed in pollen of Mutisia section Mutisia (e.g., M. stuebelli, M. microphylla, and M. sodiroi). It is suggested that it might have harmomegathic significance. The pollen morphology and polymorphism are discussed with regard to functional mechanisms and possible evolutionary significance.


Mutisia LM SEM TEM Pollen polymorphism Chaetanthera South America 



We are grateful to Gloria Daners for valuable comments on the manuscript. We are also grateful to curators of several herbaria for loans of specimens and to Pablo Pérez for helping with LM photographs. Support was provided by Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica, Argentina (PICT No. 26289), and Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Argentina (PIP 5294 and 5604).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratorio de Sistemática y Biología Evolutiva (LASBE)Museo de La PlataLa PlataArgentina
  2. 2.Laboratorio de ActuopalinologíaMuseo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos AiresBuenos AiresArgentina
  3. 3.División Plantas VascularesMuseo de La PlataLa PlataArgentina

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