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Regular version of the site

Article

Floral structure in Thismia (Thismiaceae: Dioscoreales): new insights from anatomy, vasculature and development

Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 2021. Vol. 195. No. 3. P. 501-531.
Nuraliev M. S., Yudina S. V., Shepeleva E. A., Truong B. V., Do T. X., Beer A. S., Remizowa M.

Thismia is characterized by an exceptionally complicated floral morphology that is currently not understood properly. In the taxonomic literature, descriptive rather than morphological terms are often applied to parts of the flower in Thismia, relating to the general appearance of the floral organs instead of their precise homologies. Precise understanding of the floral structure is complicated by the rarity of Thismia spp. and the paucity of appropriate material. Here we provide a comprehensive study of reproductive organs of three Thismia spp. (T. annamensis, T. javanica and T. mucronata) including the first investigation of inflorescence architecture and early floral development in Thismiaceae. We found a hitherto unknown diversity of the reproductive shoots in the genus, manifested in the number of floral prophylls (two or three, in contrast to a single prophyll in the vast majority of monocots) and in the branching plane resulting in two distinct inflorescence types, a drepanium and a bostryx. We report the non-acropetal sequence of initiation of floral whorls (with stamens being the last elements to initiate), never previously described in monocots, and the gynoecium composed of completely plicate carpels, also a rare feature for monocots. Floral vasculature is relatively uniform in Thismia, but significant interspecific differences are found in tepal
innervation, including the number of tepal traces; some of these differences are not immediately related to the external tepal morphology. We argue that the annulus, which acts as a roof of the hypanthium, possesses an androecium nature and represents congenitally fused bases of stamen filaments. We describe the stamens as laminar structures, which are also shortly tubular in the distal part of the supraconnective with the adaxial tubular side forming a skirt-like appendage. Finally, the placentas, which are column-like when mature, are initially parietal, becoming secondarily similar to freecentral placentas through schizogenous separation from the ovary wall.