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Bulletin of Botanical Research ›› 2018, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (3): 349-356.doi: 10.7525/j.issn.1673-5102.2018.03.006

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Morphological and Structural Changes during Male Cones Development in Cunninghamia lanceolata

ZHU Li-Kui1, TANG Liang1, ZHAO Bei-Bei2, LU Zhao-Geng1, WANG Li1   

  1. 1. College of Horticulture and Plant Protection, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou 225009;
    2. Tibet Agriculture and Animal Husbandry University, Nyingchi 860000
  • Received:2017-12-26 Online:2018-05-15 Published:2018-05-17
  • Supported by:
    Supported by Three New Forestry Engineering Projects in Jiangsu Province(LYSX[2016]55);Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province(BK20161332)

Abstract: We selected the Chinese fir from Yangzhou as experimental materials, and studied the development of male cones, microsporangium development and the rule of pollens release in detail using digital camera, stereoscope, scanning electron microscopy(SEM), and semi-thin section. The male cones were formed in mid-October, and matured in the following late March. During the pollination period, pollens began to release in the middle of the slit dehisced from the base of the male cones to the upper part. The male cones were borne at the top of the shoots. The cones enlarged with the scales opened when they were maturing. Microsporophylls were arranged spirally along the main axis, and each microsporophyll consists of three microsporangia forming a triangle. The microsporangia wall was composed of epidermis, endothecium and tapetum. Epidermis cells occurred first and differentiated into 2-3 layers of cells which formed the endothecium and the tapetum. Finally, the endothecium and tapetum disappeared. At room temperature, the duration of pollen release for one male cone was about 18 h and about 8-10 h for one microsporangium. The results indicated that the development process of the microspore leaves of Chinese fir had experienced the increase of volume, scale opening and pollen release. These morphological and structural changes were beneficial to improve the efficiency of pollen release, which indicated that the Chinese fir formed many structural characteristics conducive to the wind pollination.

Key words: Cunninghamia lanceolata, male cone, microsporangium, pollen release

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