Pollen diversity and its implications to the systematics of Poecilanthe (Fabaceae, Papilionoideae, Brongniartieae)

Fabiana Carvalho de Souza, José Eduardo Meireles, Cláudia Barbieri Ferreira Mendonça, Vania Gonçalves-Esteves

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9 Scopus citations


The small South-American genus Poecilanthe has a striking morphological diversity in leaf type, inflorescence, seed morphology and chemical composition. Recent phylogenetic work also shows that Poecilanthe is paraphyletic. Despite the importance of palynology to better understand morphological diversity and potentially inform evolutionary analyses, the pollen morphology of Poecilanthe and most of its close relatives is unknown. This study uses light and electronic microscopy to describe the pollen morphology of eight species of Poecilanthe and the four related genera Ormosia, Harpalyce, Clathrotropis and Cyclolobium. We found pollen grains colpate only in four species of Poecilanthe and Harpalyce brasiliana and colporate pollen grains in the other four Poecilanthe species and the other related genera (Ormosia, Clathrotropis and Cyclolobium). An identification key for pollen of all species is provided. Using principal component analyses (PCA) we found that pollen grains of the Poecilanthe have considerable diversity. However, only limited correspondence between the PCA clusters and the Poecilanthe clades was found, suggesting that pollinic characters do not reflect evolutionary history in this group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1759-1770
Number of pages12
JournalPlant Systematics and Evolution
Issue number8
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful to Noêmia Rodrigues Gonçalves (Instituto de Biofísica-UFRJ) who helped with the SEM. This work was supported by Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) and Fundação de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, Springer-Verlag Wien.


  • Morphology
  • PCA
  • Phylogeny
  • Pollen
  • Pollinic type


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