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Homologies Of The Flower And Inflorescence In The Early-divergent Grass Anomochloa (Poaceae).

M. G. Sajo, Natalia Pabón-Mora, J. Jardim, D. Stevenson, P. Rudall
Published 2012 · Biology, Medicine

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PREMISE OF THE STUDY The grass subfamily Anomochlooideae is phylogenetically significant as the sister group to all other grasses. Thus, comparison of their structure with that of other grasses could provide clues to the evolutionary origin of these characters. METHODS We describe the structure, embryology, and development of the flower and partial inflorescence of the monotypic Brazilian grass Anomochloa marantoidea. We compare these features with those of other early-divergent grasses such as Pharus and Streptochaeta and closely related Poales such as Ecdeiocolea. KEY RESULTS Anomochloa possesses several features that are characteristic of Poaceae, notably a scutellum, a solid style, reduced stamen number, and an ovary with a single ovule that develops into a single indehiscent fruit. Interpretation of floral patterning in Anomochloa is problematic because the ramification pattern of the florets places the bracts and axes in unusual positions relative to the primary inflorescence axis. Our study indicates that there is a single abaxial carpel in Anomochloa, probably due to a cryptic type of pseudomonomery in Anomochloa that resembles the pseudomonomery of other grasses. On the other hand, the Anomochloa flower differs from the "typical" grass flower in lacking lodicules and possessing four stamens, in contrast with the tristaminate condition that characterizes many other grasses. CONCLUSIONS Using the median part of the innermost bract as a locator, we tentatively homologize the inner bract of the Anomochloa partial inflorescence with the palea of other grasses. In this interpretation, the pattern of monosymmetry due to stamen suppression differs from that of Ecdeiocolea.
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