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The pollen metamorphosis phenomenon in Panax ginseng, Aralia elata and Oplopanax elatus; an addition to discussion concerning the Panax affinity in Araliaceae

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 February 2009

Arkadiy A. Reunov*
Affiliation:
Department of Embryology, A.V. Zhirmunskiy Institute of Marine Biology, Far Eastern Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, 17 Paltchevskiy Street, Vladivostok 690041, Russia. Department of Embryology, A.V. Zhirmunskiy Institute of Marine Biology, Far Eastern Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, 17 Paltchevskiy Street, Vladivostok 690041, Russia.
Galina D. Reunova
Affiliation:
Group of Plant Molecular Genetics, Institute of Biology and Soil Science, Far Eastern Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, 159 Stoletiya Street, Vladivostok, 690022, Russia.
Yana N. Alexandrova
Affiliation:
Department of Embryology, A.V. Zhirmunskiy Institute of Marine Biology, Far Eastern Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, 17 Paltchevskiy Street, Vladivostok 690041, Russia.
Tamara I. Muzarok
Affiliation:
Department of Biotechnology, Institute of Biology and Soil Science, Far Eastern Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, 159 Stoletiya Street, Vladivostok, 690022, Russia.
Yuriy N. Zhuravlev
Affiliation:
Department of Biotechnology, Institute of Biology and Soil Science, Far Eastern Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, 159 Stoletiya Street, Vladivostok, 690022, Russia.
*
All correspondence to: A.A. Reunov. Department of Embryology, A.V. Zhirmunskiy Institute of Marine Biology, Far Eastern Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, 17 Paltchevskiy Street, 690041, Russia. Tel: +7 4232 311143. Fax: +7 4232 310900. e-mail: arkadiy_reunov@mail.ru

Summary

To find more morphological characteristics useful for discussion on aralian or non-aralian Panax affinity, pollen morphological diversity was comparatively analysed in P. ginseng, Aralia elata and Oplopanax elatus collected during their pollination periods. In the anthers of both the buds and open flowers, the pollen average diameter varied between some species-specific maximum and minimal measurement. However, the larger pollen grains were typically found in the buds whereas the smaller pollen prevailed in the open flowers, testifying to the pollen size diminution during anther maturation. Based on this finding, the subsequent examination of pollen according to size decrease was put into operation as a method of pollen modification for the study. The structural mechanisms of pollen metamorphosis were identified as not being species specific but rather universal. These mechanisms are suggested to be the shrinkage of the pollen vegetative cytoplasm, the intine enlargement, the deepening of three colporate apertures provided by exine sunken into enlarged intine areas, the aperture accretion as well as the transformation of the exine from thick/sculptured into thin/less sculptured. During ‘size-reducing metamorphosis’, the pollen grains changed dramatically, going through a species-specific set of intermediate morphs to the final species-specific morphotype. In P. ginseng this morphotype is round (diameter is about 16 μm), in A. elata it is round with a single projection (diameter is about 15 μm) and in O. elatus it is ovoid with a single projection (average diameter is about 18 μm). In addition, every species is peculiar in having the unique vegetative cytoplasm inclusions and individual construction of the largest pollen exine. From a phylogenetic perspective, these findings presumably add support to the option of equal remoteness of P. ginseng from A. elata and O. elatus. The characteristics found seem to be suitable for examination of Panax affinity, by the subsequent study of more Araliaceae representatives.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2008

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