Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 173, Issue 3–4, pp 223–239 | Cite as

Chromosome numbers and taxonomic implications in the fern genusAzolla (Azollaceae)

  • K. K. Stergianou
  • K. Fowler


Investigation of chromosome numbers of allAzolla species, and for the first time of hybrids, has been undertaken. Removal of wax from the leaf surface proved invaluable in achieving clear cytological preparations and providing unambiguous chromosome numbers. In contrast to previous records, the speciesA. pinnata, A. filiculoides, A. filiculoides var.rubra, A. caroliniana, A. microphylla, andA. mexicana were found to be 2n=44, andA. nilotica to be 2n=52. Several triploids (2n=66) and one tetraploid (2n=88) were identified. No geographical pattern could be observed in the distribution of triploids which probably derive from the function of unreduced gametes. The chromosome number of hybrids occasionally deviates from the diploid chromosome number (2n=44). The small chromosome size limits karyotypic analysis and only differences in overall chromosome size can be observed. Taxonomic implications of chromosome numbers and sizes are discussed.

Key words

Ferns Azollaceae Azolla A. pinnata A. nilotica A. filiculoides A. rubra A. caroliniana A. mexicana A. microphylla Cytotaxonomy chromosome number triploidy hybrids 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. K. Stergianou
    • 1
  • K. Fowler
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Biological SciencesPortsmouth PolytechnicPortsmouthUK

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