Embryology of Petrosavia (Petrosaviaceae, Petrosaviales): Evidence for the distinctness of the family from other monocots

Department of Botany, Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan.
Journal of Plant Research (Impact Factor: 1.82). 09/2009; 122(6):597-610. DOI: 10.1007/s10265-009-0259-z
Source: PubMed


The affinities of Petrosavia, a rare, leafless, mycoheterotrophic genus composed of two species indigenous to East to Southeast Asia, have long been uncertain. However, recent molecular analyses show that the genus is sister to Japonolirion osense. Japonolirion and Petrosavia comprise the Petrosaviaceae, which are now placed in its own order, Petrosaviales, distinct from other monocots based on molecular analyses. We conducted an embryological study of Petrosavia, comparing it to Japonolirion, as well as to basal monocots (Acorus and Araceae) and more derived monocots (Nartheciaceae, Velloziaceae, and Triuridaceae). Our results showed that Petrosavia is very similar in embryology to Japonolirion, with both genera sharing a glandular anther tapetum, simultaneous cytokinesis in microspore mother cells, anatropous and crassinucellate ovules, T-shaped tetrads of megaspores, ab initio Cellular-type endosperm, and a mature seed coat composed of the exotesta, endotesta, and endotegmen. The two genera of Petrosaviaceae are clearly distinct from Acorus, and all Araceae, Nartheciaceae, Velloziaceae, and Triuridaceae genera in various combinations of characters. Thus, both molecular and embryological evidence support the distinctness of the Petrosaviaceae from other monocots and its placement in its own order, Petrosaviales.

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