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Ovules and seeds in Acalyphoideae (Euphorbiaceae): structure and systematic implications.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of plant research
Publication Date
Volume
116
Issue
5
Pages
355–380
Identifiers
PMID: 12955569
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Acalyphoideae, the largest subfamily of Euphorbiaceae, are investigated with respect to ovule and seed structure on the basis of 172 species of 80 genera in all 20 tribes of Acalyphoideae sensu Webster. All species of Acalyphoideae examined have bitegmic ovules with a non-vascularized inner integument. However, noticeable differences exist among and sometimes within the genera in the thickness of the inner and outer integument, the presence or absence of vascular bundles in the outer integument, whether ovules are pachychalazal or not, the presence or absence of an aril, seed coat structure (in terms of the best-developed mechanical cell-layer), and the shape of cells constituting the exotegmen. For the latter two characters, two different types of seed coat (i.e., "exotegmic" and "exotestal") and three different types of exotegmic cell (i.e., palisadal, tracheoidal and ribbon-like) were distinguished. Comparisons showed that three tribes Clutieae, Chaetocarpeae and Pereae are distinct from the other Acalyphoideae as well as from the other Euphorbiaceae in having an exotestal seed coat with a tracheoidal exotegmen. The tribe Dicoelieae is also distinct from the other Acalyphoideae in having an exotegmic seed that is composed of ribbon-like cells of exotegmen (i.e., cells both longitudinally and radially elongated, sclerotic and pitted). The tribe Galearieae, which should be treated as a distinct family Pandaceae, is also distinct from the other Acalyphoideae in having an exotegmic seed with a tracheoidal exotegmen (i.e., cells longitudinally elongated, sclerotic and pitted). The remaining genera of Acalyphoideae always have an exotegmic seed with a palisadal exotegmen (i.e., cells radially elongated, sclerotic and pitted). The shared palisadal exotegmen supports the close affinity of Acalyphoideae (excluding five tribes) with Crotonoideae and Euphorbioideae. Within the remaining genera of Acalyphoideae, a significant diversity is found in ovule and seed morphology with respect to the thickness of the inner and outer integument, the size of chalaza, vascularization of an outer integument and an aril.

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