Carpel – Fruit in a Coniferous Genus Araucaria and the Enigma of Angiosperm Origin
Journal of Plant Sciences
Volume 2, Issue 5, October 2014, Pages: 159-166
Received: Sep. 9, 2014; Accepted: Sep. 19, 2014; Published: Sep. 30, 2014
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Authors
Valentin Krassilov, Institute of Evolution, University of Haifa, Mount Carmel, Haifa 31905, Israel
Sophia Barinova, Institute of Evolution, University of Haifa, Mount Carmel, Haifa 31905, Israel
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Abstract
Reproductive morphology of araucarian samara is revised revealing a carpellate structure of the stone. In A. columnaris it is formed by a supercoiled spermophyll (‘seed scale’), with a stigmatic apical lobe. This structure is analogous to the ‘classical’ peltate carpel of flowering plants. Stone opens with two apical pores. Pollen germinates on the apical stigmatic crest, with extracellular matter exuded from a stigmatic gland and its opposite on the bract apophysis. Ovulate structures are of the same basic type in the allied genera Wollemia and Pararaucaria. Neither of these genera is morphologically ‘transitional’ at the generic as well as familial levels thus setting araucarians apart from the rest of conifers no longer conceivable as a uniquely derived clade of gymnospermous plants. Araucarians thus deserve the status of a separate order anticipating the major evolutionary advancements of angiospermy in flowering plants.
Keywords
Plant Morphology, Paleobotany, Conifers, Araucariaceae, Carpel, Angiosperm Origin, Fossil Gymnosperms, Evolutionary Parallelism
To cite this article
Valentin Krassilov, Sophia Barinova, Carpel – Fruit in a Coniferous Genus Araucaria and the Enigma of Angiosperm Origin, Journal of Plant Sciences. Vol. 2, No. 5, 2014, pp. 159-166. doi: 10.11648/j.jps.20140205.13
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