Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 285, Issue 3–4, pp 189–199 | Cite as

Karyological features and cytotaxonomy of the tribe Vernonieae (Asteraceae)

  • Maria Rita Cabral Salles-de-Melo
  • Rodrigo Mendonça de Lucena
  • João Semir
  • Reginaldo de Carvalho
  • Rita de Cássia Araújo Pereira
  • Ana Maria Benko-Iseppon
Original Article


Chromosome numbers are reported for 29 populations of 19 Vernonieae taxa collected mainly in the northeastern region of Brazil. Among them, data for five genera (Blanchetia, Rolandra, Pithecoseris, Stilpnopappus and Vanillosmopsis) are here reported for the first time, and the first chromosome counts are presented for 12 species. Chromosome numbers are quite diverse among and sometimes within genera, especially in the controversial and large subtribe Vernoniinae. The numbers varied from 2n = 18 to 2n = ~72. The main karyoevolutionary mechanism seems to be dysploidy, while polyploidy is probably associated with ancient hybridization processes generating most paleotetraploid genera. All studied species presented semi-reticulated interphase nuclei and proximal-early condensing behavior in prophase to prometaphase. In one species (Vernonia condensata with 2n = 40) fluorochrome staining with CMA/DAPI revealed five chromosome pairs bearing subterminal CMA+/DAPI heterochromatin, probably NOR-associated, revealing the existence of low amounts of satellite DNA. The role of these features in the evolution of the tribe is discussed, revealing some interesting aspects for understanding of the Vernonieae karyoevolution, especially regarding neotropical members.


Chromosome numbers Dysploidy Polyploidy Fluorochrome staining Heterochromatin 



We thank Dr. Rita de Cássia Barros for collecting specimens and interesting discussions. We acknowledge the Botanical Garden of Frankfurt for seeds of Vernonia crinita. We thank Mrs. Verônica M.C. Santos and Mrs. Natália F. Barros for help during the germination experiments and cultivation of plants in the greenhouses. This study was supported by CNPq (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico), Brasília, Brazil.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Rita Cabral Salles-de-Melo
    • 1
  • Rodrigo Mendonça de Lucena
    • 2
  • João Semir
    • 3
  • Reginaldo de Carvalho
    • 1
  • Rita de Cássia Araújo Pereira
    • 4
  • Ana Maria Benko-Iseppon
    • 2
  1. 1.Biology DepartmentUniversidade Federal Rural de PernambucoRecifeBrazil
  2. 2.Plant Genetics Laboratory, Department of GeneticsUniversidade Federal de PernambucoRecifeBrazil
  3. 3.Botanic Department, Biology InstituteUniversidade Estadual de Campinas, CampinasCampinasBrazil
  4. 4.Botânica, Herbário IPA, Empresa Pernambucana de Pesquisa AgropecuáriaRecifeBrazil

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