J Syst Evol ›› 2014, Vol. 52 ›› Issue (5): 629-642.DOI: 10.1111/jse.12081

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Floral development of Cardiopteris, with emphasis on gynoecial structure and ovular morphology

1,2,3Dong‐Rui KONG 4Melanie SCHORI* 1Shu‐Gang LU* 5Lu LI 2Hua PENG   

  1. 1(Institute of Ecology and Geobotany, Yunnan University, Kunming 650091, China)
    2(Key Laboratory for Biodiversity and Biogeography of East Asia, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650201, China)
    3(School of Life Science, Ludong University, Yantai 264025, Shandong, China)
    4(Jodrell Laboratory, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Surrey TW9 3DS, United Kingdom)
    5(Yunnan Academy of Biodiversity, Southwest Forestry University,Kunming 650224, China)
  • Received:2013-12-04 Published:2014-03-19

Abstract: Cardiopteris is unique in the expanded Cardiopteridaceae for several distinctive features, including its gynoecial structure and ovular morphology. We studied the floral development of Cardiopteris to clarify floral morphology and document floral development. Cardiopteris has three carpel primordia, which are separate at their tips but congenitally fused at their bases. The synascidiate zone (the fused proximal part) develops into the unilocular ovary; the three discrete carpel apices diverge in development: the apex of the adaxial carpel differentiates into a style and stigma, while the apices of the two lateral-abaxial carpels elongate and develop into a fleshy appendage only after fertilization. The ovules are attached to the lateral-abaxial carpels. At anthesis, the ovules are ategmic and orthotropous without funicles (morphologically undifferentiated). Functional differentiation occurs in the three carpels of Cardiopteris: the adaxial one is the site of pollination, while the lateral-abaxial two produce ovules. The ategmic orthotropous ovule is unusual in Cardiopteridaceae and is an apomorphy of Cardiopteris.

Key words: Aquifoliales, carpel, gynoecium, ovule.