Project Topic / Abstract:
“Pollen and anther development in the fanwort (Caboma caroliniana, Cabombaceae)”
The water lily Cabomba caroliniana Gray is commonly known as fanwort and occurs throughout North and South America in subtropical to temperate environments. While fanwort enjoys popularity as an aquarium plant, it is also a nuisance, often clogging recreational waterways. Evolutionarily, water lilies are widely regarded to be among the most primitive flowering plants. Although studies of pollen morphology and development provide important data for determining evolutionary relationships, little is known about these reproductive traits in Cabomba. The objective of this study was to use electron microscopy to examine pollen development within Cabomba caroliniana, focusing specifically on the formation of pollen wall layers. The major developmental stages have been identified, including microspore mother cells, tetrads, free microspores, and mature pollen grains. Pollen at each stage was compared with regard to a number of key characters such as size, surface sculpture, aperture structure, wall ultrastructure, and presence of wall microchannels.
- Taylor, M. L., B. L. Gutman, N. A. Melrose, A. M. Ingraham, J. A. Schwatz, and J. M. Osborn. 2008. Pollen and anther ontogeny in Cabomba caroliniana (Cabombaceae, Nymphaeales). American Journal of Botany 95:399-413. Article (PDF)
- Truman Undergraduate Research Symposium (Kirksville, MO)