Pollen typification and palynotaxonomy of subfamily Salsoloideae Ulbr. (Chenopodiaceae Vent.) in the flora of South Transcaucasia
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Institute of Botany after A. Takhtajan, National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia, Acharyan-1, 0063, Yerevan, Armenia
Online publication date: 2022-12-14
Publication date: 2022-12-14
Acta Palaeobotanica 2022; 62(2): 93-107
  • Pollen morphology of 23 species from 12 genera of the Salsoloideae subfamily (Chenopodiaceae) of South Transcaucasia was investigated as well as an statistical analysis of the pollen characteristics was conducted.
  • Typification of pollen within the Salsoloideae subfamily of South Transcaucasia was carried out.
  • Two morphological types and four subtypes combined in two Palynogroups were distinguished.
The article presents the results of a comparative palyno-morphological analysis of the representatives of the Salsoloideae subfamily (Chenopodiaceae) in South Transcaucasia. Out of 25 species belonging to 13 genera of Salsoloideae subfamily in South Transcaucasia, pollen morphology of 23 species from 12 genera was investigated, as well as an analysis of the pollen characteristics was conducted. Data on five key features of pollen (on LM level) were statistically analyzed including pollen diameter, pore number, pore diameter, exine thickness, and mesoporium width. The results indicated that within the Salsoloideae subfamily of South Transcaucasian flora the first three features may be considered diagnostic. The application of a scanning electron microscope (SEM) has revealed the fourth diagnostic feature of the pollen within the Salsoloideae subfamily, specifically, the number of spinules on the unit surface of the pollen, which enables, in several cases, to conduct intergeneric or interspecific differentiation. Based on the obtained data, typification of pollen within the Salsoloideae subfamily of South Transcaucasia was carried out for the first time. As a result, two morphological types and four subtypes combined in two palynogroups were distinguished. The subdivision into palynogroups is based on differences in the size of pollen grains. Only species Climacoptera crassa with pollen of average sizes (26–33/29 μm in diameter) is included into the monotypic Palynogroup I, all other investigated species with small pollen grains (10–25 (27)/22 μm in diameter) are joined in Palynogroup II. Allocation of species into two different Types of Palynogroup II is based on the presence of a significant difference in the size of small pollen grains of individual species. In particular, species with relatively large pollen grains (> 20 μm in diameter) are included in Type 1, while species with relatively small ones (≤ 20 μm in diameter) are joined in Type 2. And finally, the distribution of species into the subtypes and variations of Palynogroup II is based on differences in pore number and size. The identified key palyno-morphological features made it possible in some cases to specify the taxonomic boundaries, as well as the relationship between taxa within the subfamily Salsoloideae.
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