Anales del Jardín Botánico de Madrid, Vol 66, No 1 (2009)

The pollen morphology of species of Gongylolepis (Mutisiae: Asteraceae) in the Venezuelan Guayana

Paola Ubiergo
Instituto de Biología Experimental, Universidad Central de Venezuela , Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of

Marlene Lapp
Instituto de Botánica Agrícola, Facultad de Agronomía, Universidad Central de Venezuela , Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of

Pedro Torrecilla
Instituto de Botánica Agrícola, Facultad de Agronomía, Universidad Central de Venezuela , Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of


Gongylolepis is composed for 15 species, endemic to the Guyana region. This is the largest genus of tribe Mutiseae in the area. Palynological features have been studied for some members of the Mutiseae, but not for Gongylolepis. We studied the pollen morphology of nine species of the genus, using samples from herbarium material. The observations were made in 10 to 15 pollen grains for species and features of the spines, colpus, polar axis, equatorial diameter, exine structure, pollen type, apertures, perforations and P/E ratio to determinate pollen shape, were analyzed. Observations and pictures were made with light microscope and scanning electron microscope. With this information, a matrix and conglomerate analysis was made. Gongylolepis pollen is tricolporate, spheroidal and mainly of great size. Differences in exine ornamentation were enough to discriminate the studied species. Spines are conical, with perforations near of the base, but with differences in the apex shape. The dendogram showed four groups, where the size, shape, exine ornamentation, spines, colpus and perforations were of importance to the classification of the species considered.


palinology; Gongylolepis; endemic plants; Venezuela

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