Australian Journal of Botany Australian Journal of Botany Society
Southern hemisphere botanical ecosystems
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Pollen morphology of the Myrtaceae. Part 2: tribes Backhousieae, Melaleuceae, Metrosidereae, Osbornieae and Syzygieae

Andrew H. Thornhill A D , Geoff S. Hope B , Lyn A. Craven C and Michael D. Crisp A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Division of Evolution, Ecology and Genetics, Research School of Biology, Building 116, Daley Road, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia.

B Department of Archaeology and Natural History, College of Asia and the Pacific, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia.

C Australian National Herbarium, CSIRO Plant Industry, GPO Box 1600, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia.

D Corresponding author. Email: Andrew.Thornhill@anu.edu.au

Australian Journal of Botany 60(3) 200-224 https://doi.org/10.1071/BT11175
Submitted: 4 July 2011  Accepted: 9 January 2012   Published: 10 April 2012

Abstract

Pollen morphology of 16 genera and 101 species from the Myrtaceae tribes Backhousieae, Melaleuceae, Metrosidereae, Osbornieae and Syzygieae was surveyed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and light microscopy (LM). The most common pollen type observed in these tribes was parasyncolpate with arcuate or angular colpi, and a rugulate exine pattern. There was little size variation in observed pollen, except for larger pollen in tribe Melaleuceae. All Metrosideros pollen grains had apocolpial islands, as well as all Callistemon species viewed by LM. Choricarpia of tribe Backhousieae had pollen with a distinctive exine pattern. Dicolporate pollen were observed in two tribes, Metrosidereae (Tepualia) and Syzygieae (Acmena), and may be of systematic value. The dicolporate grains of these two genera were also easily distinguishable from each other by using size and pollen side shape as diagnostic characters. Two pollen types were observed within the genus Melaleuca, and a number of pollen types were observed within the species-rich genus Syzygium.


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