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Bulletin of Botanical Research ›› 2016, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (4): 491-502.doi: 10.7525/j.issn.1673-5102.2016.04.003

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Seed Morphology of Five Genera of Berberidaceae in China

ZHANG Jian-Ru, ZENG Ni, CHANG Zhao-Yang   

  1. College of Life Sciences, Northwest A & F University, Yangling 712100
  • Received:2016-03-05 Online:2016-07-15 Published:2016-06-15
  • Supported by:
    Natural Science Foundation of China(30870155)

Abstract: The seed morphology of 42 taxa(40 species and 2 varieties) in 5 genera(Berberis, Mahonia, Caulophyllum, Dysosma and Diphylleia) of Berberidaceae from China was studied by stereoscope and scanning electron microscope. The study seeds were tawny, reddish brown to black, and diverse in shape. Ornamentation of seed coat was ascribed into four types as reticular(including 7 subtypes), reticular-scalariform, scalariform and ruminate. Seeds of Caulophyllum robustum were sphere and the hilum located on the side of seed near middle, which could be the typical characters distinguished from the other 4 genera. According to the micromorphology of seed coat, systematic and phylogenetic implications of seed coat morphology in Berberidaceae were discussed, and the possible evolutionary route of seed coat ornamentation was conjectured. Seed morphology supported the sister relationship between Berberis and Mahonia, and Dysosma was more original than Diphylleia. Seed morphology of the genus Berberis did not support Ahrendt's treatment of some sections and subsections.

Key words: Berberidaceae, seed morphology, ornamentation of seed coat, taxonomy

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