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Abstract

Abstract Studies concerning the ultrastructure of the periendothelial zone integumentary cells of Asteraceae species are scarce. The aim was to check whether and/or what kinds of integument modifications occur in Onopordum acanthium. Ovule structure was investigated using light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy and histochemistry. For visualization of calcium oxalate crystals, the polarizing microscopy was used. The periendothelial zone of integument in O. acanthium is well developed and composed of mucilage cells near the integumentary tapetum and large, highly vacuolated cells at the chalaza and therefore they differ from other integumentary cells. The cells of this zone lack starch and protein bodies. Periendothelial zone cells do not have calcium oxalate crystals, in contrast to other integument cells. The disintegration of periendothelial zone cells was observed in a mature ovule. The general ovule structure of O. acanthium is similar to other members of the subfamily Carduoideae, although it is different to “Taraxacum”, “Galinsoga” and “Ratibida” ovule types.
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Abstract

Abstract Galinsoga quadriradiata Ruiz & Pav. is an annual weedy plant that can be found all over the world. It belongs to the Asteraceae family and is recognised as one of the invasive foreign plants in Poland, which are native to Central and South America. The aim of this study was to describe the reproductive features of Galinsoga quadriradiata focusing on the changes that occur during microsporogenesis and microgametogenesis along with the morphology of its pollen. As it is typical of the eudicot clade of Angiosperms, cytokinesis of G. quadriradiata is simultaneous. The pollen grains are tricolporate with spiny outer walls and the course of the microsporogenetic process is fairly typical of the Echinatae group of weed plants. The high viability of the pollen grains, which mature unequally in the inflorescences, and the proper course of meiosis determine whether a plant has the invasive character of Galinsoga quadriradiata.
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Abstract

Abstract Many Asteraceae species have been introduced into horticulture as ornamental or interesting exotic plants. Some of them, including Solidago and Galinsoga, are now aggressive weeds; others such as Ratibida are not. Special modifications of the ovule tissue and the occurrence of nutritive tissue have been described in several Asteraceae species, including invasive Taraxacum species. This study examined whether such modifications might also occur in other genera. We found that the three genera examined - Galinsoga (G. quadriradiata), Solidago (S. canadensis, S. rigida, S. gigantea) and Ratibida (R. pinnata) - differed in their nutritive tissue structure. According to changes in the integument, we identified three types of ovules in Asteraceae: “Taraxacum” type (recorded in Taraxacum, Bellis, Solidago, Chondrilla), with well-developed nutritive tissue having very swollen cell walls of spongy structure; “Galinsoga” type (in Galinsoga), in which the nutritive tissue cells have more cyto-plasm and thicker cell walls than the other integument parenchyma cells, and in which the most prominent character of the nutritive tissue cells is well-developed rough ER; and “Ratibida” type (in Ratibida), in which the nutritive tissue is only slightly developed and consists of large highly vacuolated cells. Our study and future investigations of ovule structure may be useful in phylogenetic analyses.
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