Journal Article

Micromorphology of the Labellum and Floral Spur of <i>Cryptocentrum</i> Benth. and <i>Sepalosaccus</i> Schltr. (Maxillariinae: Orchidaceae)

Kevin L. Davies and Malgorzata Stpiczyńska

in Annals of Botany

Published on behalf of The Annals of Botany Company

Volume 100, issue 4, pages 797-805
Published in print October 2007 | ISSN: 0305-7364
Published online August 2007 | e-ISSN: 1095-8290 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcm165
Micromorphology of the Labellum and Floral Spur of Cryptocentrum Benth. and Sepalosaccus Schltr. (Maxillariinae: Orchidaceae)

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Background and Aims

Gross vegetative and floral morphology, as well as modern molecular techniques, indicate that Cryptocentrum Benth. and Sepalosaccus Schltr. are related to Maxillaria Ruiz & Pav. However, they differ from Maxillaria in their possession of floral spurs and, in this respect, are atypical of Maxillariinae. The labellar micromorphology of Maxillaria, unlike that of the other two genera, has been extensively studied. In the present report, the labellar micromorphology of Cryptocentrum and Sepalosaccus is compared with that of Maxillaria and, for the first time, the micromorphology of the floral spur as found in Maxillariinae is described.

Methods

Labella and dissected floral spurs of Cryptocentrum and Sepalosaccus were examined using light microscopy (LM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM).

Key Results

In each case, the labellum consists of a papillose mid-lobe (epichile), a cymbiform region (hypochile) and, proximally, a spur, which is pronounced in Cryptocentrum but short and blunt in Sepalosaccus. The inner epidermal surface of the spur of Cryptocentrum is glabrous or pubescent, and the bicellular hairs, where present, are unlike any hitherto described for Maxillariinae. Similar but unicellular hairs also occur in the floral spur of Sepalosaccus, whereas the glabrous epidermis lining the spur of C. peruvianum contains putative nectar pores.

Conclusions

The labellar micromorphology of Cryptocentrum and Sepalosaccus generally resembles that of Maxillaria. The floral spur of Cryptocentrum displays two types of organization in that the epidermal lining may be glabrous (possibly with nectar pores) or pubescent. This may have taxonomic significance and perhaps reflects physiological differences relating to nectar secretion. The trichomes found within the spurs of Cryptocentrum and Sepalosaccus more closely resemble the hairs of certain unrelated, nectariferous orchid taxa than those found in the largely nectarless genus Maxillaria, and this further supports the case for parallelism.

Keywords: Labellum; Maxillariinae; micromorphology; nectar pore; nectary; spur; trichome

Journal Article.  4488 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation ; Evolutionary Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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