Anales del Jardín Botánico de Madrid, Vol 71, No 2 (2014)

A study of seed micromorphology in the genus Ophrys (Orchidaceae)

Pablo Galán Cela
Departamento de Producción Vegetal, Botánica y Protección Vegetal, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain

Irene Seligrat
Departamento de Biología, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain

Emma Ortúñez
Departamento de Biología, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain

Roberto Gamarra
Departamento de Biología, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain

Alejandro Vivar
Departamento de Ciencias Básicas Aplicadas a la Ingeniería Forestal, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain

Antonio Scrugli
Dipartimento di Scienze Botaniche, Università di Cagliari, Italy


Seed micromorphology of 19 taxa of the genus Ophrys have been studied using SEM and light microscope. Quantitative data (length and width of seed and embryo, number of testa cells along the longitudinal axis, volume of seed and embryo, and percentage of free air space), as well as qualitative characters (seed shape, features of the anticlinal and periclinal walls, ornamentation and colour) were analysed. All the seeds are fusiform, with an asymmetrical basal pole, the periclinal walls of the medial cells have parallel and transverse to slanting ridges, and raised anticlinal walls. Statistical analyses show two large clusters according to the volumes of seed and embryo. Our results support the monophyly of the genus and their recent diversification, however, seed features are not congruent with the recognition of sections and groups within Ophrys.


testa cells; periclinal walls; SEM; statistical analysis

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