J Syst Evol ›› 1990, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (4): 294-298.

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Studies on the Pollen Morphology and Seed Coat of the Genus Cistanche (Orobanchaceae) in China

Zhang Zhi-Yun   

  • Published:1990-07-10

Abstract: In the present paper pollen grains of 5 species and seed coat of 4 species of the genus Cistanche (Orobanchaceae) from China were examined by scanning electron microscope As a result, two types of the pollen exine sculpture are distinguished: (1) tuberculate, C. salsa and C. lanzhouensis; (2) rugulate or fine reticulation formed by the fusion of rugae, C. sinensis, C. deserticola and C. tubulosa. Chinese Cistanche was classified into two sections based on the gross morphology by the present author (Zhang, 1984). C. lanzhouensis and C. sinensis were included in one section. This classification is in conflict with the pollen type, which indicates that the characters of pollen grains and external morphology in this genus have evolved at different rates. The differences in pollen morphology of Chinese Cistanche can serve as characters for delimitating species. According to our abservation, C. lanzhouenis Z. Y. Zhang differs from the other members of Cistanche not only in external morphology but also in pollen morphology. Pollen grains are subprolate in this species, while prolate in the other four species, and exine sculpture is tuberculate. The present study provides the establishment of this new species (Zhang, 1984) with palynological evidence. The seed coat sculpture in Chinese Cistanche are constantly alveolate, but there are some slight differences, by which the sculpture can be divided into two types: (1) testa cells have or have not thickenings on the inner anticlinal walls; cavernulous sculpture is present on outer periclinal wall of some cells: C. sinensis; (2) testa cells have striate thickenings on the inner anticlinal walls: C. salsa, C. deserticola and C. tubulosa. The characters of seed coatof some significance for the delimitation of species.

Key words: Cistanche, pollen morphology, seed coat