The International Journal of Plant Reproductive Biology
(Indexed by CABI)
ISSN Print : 0975-4296; ISSN Online : 2249-7390
Volume-11, Number-1, Jan, 2019

A discussion on some aspects of the Turing model of morphogenesis applied to plants

A. G. Desnitskiy
Department of Embryology, Saint-Petersburg State University, Saint-Petersburg, 199034,
Universitetskaya nab. 7/9, Russia

e-mail :;
Received : 06.08.2018; Accepted: 07.10.2018; Published online: 15.11.2018


In 1952, British mathematician Alan Turing (1912–1954) published the reaction-diffusion model, in which two interactingspecies ofmolecules can generate a complex pattern in the course of plant or animal development if the substances (termed morphogens) differ in their diffusion rate. Turing’s theory got concrete biochemical and molecular support during recent 15 years. Several pairs of interacting and diffusing chemicals have been suggested for various morphogenetic processes in multicellular animals. Therefore, the principal points of Turing’s theory have been confirmed, though there is no universal pair of interacting morphogens in animal development. These recent data are briefly considered in the present essay and an attempt is made to consider current applications of the Turing’s model to the development of vascular plants. In the latter case, however, the situation seems today to be less clear than in the case of the metazoan morphogenesis.

Keywords:  Activator-inhibitor systems, auxin, pattern formation, plant morphogenesis, Turing’s theory.

Volume : 11(1) pp. 1-3, 2019 Download PDF

Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) seeds : morpho-histological and histochemical characterisation

L. Reale* and M. Cerri
Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences,
University of Perugia, Borgo XX Giugno 74, 06121 Perugia, Italy

*e-mail :
Received : 22.08.2018; Accepted and published online: 15.11.2018


Cannabis sativa is an herbaceous plant, used for many different scopes from nutrition to fiber production. While the anatomical structure of the seed is already known, there is little information about its cytology and the distribution of metabolites. Moreover, differences between varieties used for animal feeding or human consumption have not been investigated yet. Our research aims to disentangle these aspects through a cyto-histochemical approach in two cultivars: one used for human consumption and one for animals feeding. We have observed no differences in fresh weight or in the percentage of dry matter between the cultivars. In both analysed samples, the PAS (Periodic Acid–Schiff) reaction outlined the presence of many protein storage vacuoles (PSVs) in the endosperm and in the cotyledons. In the embryo axis, epidermal cells did not show PSVs, and in the parenchymatic tissues, there were fewer vacuoles than in the endosperm and cotyledons. In all seed structures, no starch grains were observed, while we detected few vesicles stained with osmium, as they were probably rich in lipids or phenols. These data are useful from a botanical point of view and can be used for economical purposes.
Keywords : Cannabis sativa, seed, endosperm, cotyledons

Volume : 11(1) pp. 4-8, 2019 Download PDF


Functional floral morphology of two medicinal Mikania (Asteraceae) species and their floral visitors

Marinês Eiterer , Adriano Valentin-Silva , Nelson S. Bittencourt Junior and Milene F. Vieira
Federal University of Viçosa, Department of Plant Biology, s/n P.H. Rolfs Ave., 36.570-900, Viçosa, MG, Brazil.
UNESP – São Paulo State University, Institute of Biosciences, Letters and Exact Sciences, 2265 Cristóvão Colombo St.,
15.054-000, São José do Rio Preto, SP, Brazil.
11. 09. 2018; Accepted and published online: 15.11.2018


Mikania species, including the ones addressed in this study (M. glomerata and M. hirsutissima), are widely used as medicinal plants. In order to subsidize projects for the management and conservation of those two species, studies on their flower functionality, which involves several events that culminate in pollination, are highly necessary. We aimed to analyze the functional floral morphology of both species, including secondary pollen presentation (SPP), stigmatic receptivity and pollen grain viability. Additionally, we identified the species floral visitors and the potential pollinators among them. We studied natural populations from a seasonal semi-deciduous forest (Viçosa municipality, Minas Gerais state, southeastern Brazil) in 2003 and 2004. Flowers of both species are nectariferous, odoriferous, and open in the morning. SPP occurred in flower buds at preanthesis, with pollen (100% viable) being deposited on the dorsal portion of style branches, on sterile appendages, characterizing the beginning of the staminate phase. The beginning of the pistillate phase was characterized by gradual exposure of the four receptive stigmatic lines, on the third day of flower life; this phase could be long-lived, lasting up to 11 days. Stingless bees (meliponines) and Apis mellifera were the main visitors (> 50% of visitation frequency) and were therefore considered potential pollinators. Thus, the floral attributes of M. glomerata and M. hirsutissima, along with the main group of insect visitors (social bees), characterize melittophily. Nevertheless, the high diversity of insects observed on the species flowers indicates that the range of pollinators may be wider.

Keywords : Mikania glomerata, Mikania hirsutissima, secondary pollen presentation, social bees, stigmatic areas.

Volume : 11(1) pp. 9-14, 2019 Download PDF

  Reproductive biology of Euphorbia lathyris L. (Euphorbiaceae) : Seed development

G. E. Titova*, M. A. Nyukalova and N. A. Zhinkina
Komarov Botanical Institute of RAS, Saint-Petersburg, 197376, Russia

*e-mail :
Received : 25.10.2018; Revised : 01.11.2018, Accepted and Published online: 15.11.2018

For the first time, seed development in Euphorbia lathyris L. was investigated. It was found that seed development in E. lathyris is similar to that of other species of the genus Euphorbia. At the same time, some of new features have been revealed such as (1) the presence of hemitropous ovules; (2) formation of endopachychalaza and postchalazal branching system of raphe conductive bundle in the seed (in the form of special cells at its endings which penetrate the hypostase, the base of the tegmen and the nucellus podium), (3) differentiation of tracheoid-like cells in the endotegmen, and (4) chalazal haustorium of the endosperm, which deeply penetrates the endopachychalaza tissue. Some functional aspects of seed formation in E. lathyris have been discussed like the possible involvement of tracheid-like endotegmen cells in seed swelling during germination, and the possible reasons of appearance of spherocrystals in mature testa cells that were interpreted as redundant products of metabolism required for seed formation, and crystallization upon its maturation.

Keywords : plant embryology, Euphorbiaceae, Euphorbia lathyris, seed, ovule, endopachychalaza

Volume : 11(1) pp. 15-23, 2019 Download PDF


Pollination biology of Cassine kedarnathii Sasidh. & Swarup. (Celastraceae),

A rare endemic tree species of the Western Ghats, India

P S Jothish* and Anilkumar C
Division of Conservation Biology
Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute Palode, Thiruvananthapuram -695562, Kerala, India

*e-mail :
Received :06. 10. 2018; Revised: 06.11.2018; Accepted and Published online: 15.11.2018


The pollination biology of Cassine kedarnathii Sasidh. & Swarup. (Celastraceae), a rare tree species endemic to Silent Valley tropical forests of the Western Ghats was studied in detail. Inflorescences are borne in axillary dichasial cymes. Flowers are hermaphrodite, small, greenish yellow, and pentamerous with a massive disc. Floral traits indicate that they are adopted for entomophily but visitors are few due to less reward. Major pollinators are Apis cerana, Sphaerophoria sp., Musca sp., Chrysomya sp., and Sarcophaga sp.. Pollination experiments showed that C. kedarnathii exhibit facultative selfing.

Keywords: Cassine kedarnathii, Pollination biology, Silent Valley, Facultative selfing

Volume : 11(1) pp. 24-30, 2019 Download PDF

  Floral and pollination biology of Saraca asoca (Roxb.) De Wilde (Caesalpinioideae)

Seema Chauhan
Academy of Life Sciences, 8/13 I Kaushalpur Bye Pass Road, Agra-282005, India

Received: 10.12.2017; Revised: 12. 09. 2018; Accepted & Published online: 15.11.2018


Saraca asoca (family-Fabaceae, subfamily family-Caesalpinioideae) is a small, erect evergreen tree producing large number of bunches of yellow and orange red flowers from February to April. The inflorescence of S. asoca is dense corymbose cyme, with of 35±3 flowers per inflorescence. Flowers are large, tubular, perigynous, actinomorphic tetramerous, hermaphrodite and complete. The calyx is petaloid, cylindric and four lobed, with sepals that are fused to form a tube with imbricate or quincuncial aestivation. Corolla consists of four yellow coloured petals which after pollination turn into vermilion. There are 7±1 stamens with long filiform filaments united by the base forming a tubular rim. The anthers are dithecous and dehisce by a longitudinal slit. They are dorsiventrally attached to long filaments. Pollen grains are tricopate with smooth surface exhibiting 89.6±12.6% viability. The pistil consists of monocarpellary, superior ovary with marginal placentation. The stigma is small and capitate or spherical, wet with medium sized unicellular papillae. Soon after flower opening between 06:00-08:00 h, the anthers dehisce and the stigma becomes receptive. There are several floral visitors among them Apis dorsata which is the main pollinator. Apis indica and Melipona and some other unidentified insects have also been seen visiting flowers in the morning hours. Fruit-set was only 7.5% and the plants are self-incompatible and facultative geitonogamous.

Keywords : Ashok, Caesalpinioideae, Apis dorsata, self-incompatibility, geitnogamy, tricolpate, exine smooth

Volume : 11(1) pp. 31-37, 2019 Download PDF


Reproductive Biology of Excoecaria agallocha L. (Euphorbiaceae) A Mangrove-Associate species

Sourav Singh Deo*, Prashant Pant8** and A. K. Bhatnagar***
Department of Botany, Deshbandhu College, University of Delhi, Delhi-110014;
**Department of Botany Government College, Daman, UT of Daman and Diu,
Department of Botany, University of Delhi, Delhi-110014, India

e-mail :
Received : 30.07.2018; Revised: 06.11.2018; Accepted and Published online: 15.11.2018


Excoecaria agallocha is an important mangrove-associate medicinal plant. Owing to the enormous demand for the drug, the plant has been subjected to crude and destructive utilization leading to its depletion from the natural habitats. The present work has been undertaken to investigate reproductive biology of this species such as vegetative and reproductive phenology, floral biology, pollination mechanism and breeding behavior subsidized projects for the management and conservation of this important mangrove associate species. The study was undertaken at various Mangrove regions of the country with major sampling done at Odisha (Orissa, India) from 2004-2010. The reproductive was long (ca. seven months). Excoecaria agallocha, was an obligate cross-pollinated species. It is non-apomictic and required pollen vectors (wind and insects) for sexual reproduction. Main biotic biotic pollinators were Xylocopa sp., Apis dorsata, Chrysocoris stollii, Eristalinus arvorum and Eristalis solitus. Butterflies such as Euploea core, Anosia melanippus, Pieris brassicae, Tirumala limnaceae, and Hypolimnas bolina were also potential pollinators. Pollen tubes took 18 to 24 h for fertilization. The fruit is a three-lobed schizocarp, containing single seed in each of its three locules. At maturity the fruit dehisced with an explosion liberating the seeds while it still was attached to the parent tree

Keywords : Mangrove Associate species, Pollination Ecology of Mangroves

Volume : 11(1) pp. 38-50, 2019 Download PDF


Seed dormancy in Cardiocrinum cordatum var. glehnii (Liliaceae) and ways of its overcoming

O. G. Butuzova*, A. A. Torshilova and E. V. Andronova
Komarov Botanical Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences, St-Petersburg, 197376, Russia

e-mail :
Received : 09. 11. 2018; Revised: 30.11.2018; Accepted and Published online: 01.12.2018


Cardiocrinum cordatum (Thunb.) Makino var. glehnii (F. Schmidt) Hara (Liliaceae) a rare species is characterized by an underdeveloped embryo during dissemination and by the difficulty of seed germination. The aim of the work was to clarify the type of seed dormancy and optimization of seed reproduction in this species by combining various methods: germinating of seeds at different temperature regimes and the culture of isolated embryos in vitro in light and darkness. It was proved that C.cordatum var. glehnii has both the physiological inhibition of embryo postdevelopment as well as seed germination. It was found to be overcome under the influence of two factors: temperature and illumination. Physiological mechanism of inhibition of seed germination was removed only after prolonged exposure at low positive temperature (0-3°C). The results of the study allowed to solve finally the problem of the type of seed dormancy in C. cordatum var. glehnii and classify it as a deep complex morphophysiological one.

Keywords : Cardiocrinum cordatum var. glehnii, Liliaceae, dormancy, embryo culture.

Volume : 11(1) pp. 51-57, 2019 Download PDF


Nectar exploitation by distinct functional groups of floral visitors in a savanna shrub species

Camila Vaz de Souza and Elza Guimarães *
Graduation Program in Biological Sciences (Botany), São Paulo State University (UNESP),
Institute of Biosciences, Botucatu, Brazil

Department of Botany, São Paulo State University (UNESP), Institute of Biosciences, Botucatu, Brazil.

Received : 30.11.2018; Revised: 00.00.2018; Accepted and Published online: 00.00.2018


Nectar is the main energy source exploited by floral visitors, being essential to the pollination of many outcrossing plant species. Bignoniaceae species interact with a wide variety of floral visitors, establishing most of their interactions with antagonists. Jacaranda caroba is a Bignoniaceae species that has an extensive interactions network, including pollinators, nectar robbers and nectar thieves. Thus, in this study we characterized the exploitation of floral nectar by different functional groups that visit Jacaranda caroba's flowers, aiming to better understand the potential role of the antagonists on mutualistic systems. For this, we performed a set of experiments in order to describe the nectar exploitation by each different functional group of floral visitors. We observed that the accumulated amount of nectar produced by J. caroba flowers was higher than the amounts found in flowers exposed to pollinators, nectar thieves and nectar robbers during the same period. This finding demonstrates that the three functional groups of bees exploited nectar as food resource. Additionally, we verified that all floral visitors, mutualists and antagonists, exploited nectar equally in terms of volume. It is remarkable that antagonists, nectar robbers together with nectar thieves, can exploit the resource almost to its entire depletion, which may interfere directly in the flower relationship with pollinators, by altering nectar availability.

Keywords : Antagonists, bees, Bignoniaceae, Jacaranda caroba, mutualists, nectar larceny.
Volume : 11(1) pp. 58-61, 2019 Download PDF

A comparative study on growth and reproductive characters of three species of Canavalia Adans. (Fabaceae)

Reshmi G. Baby and * P. M. Radhamany
Department of Botany, University of Kerala, Kariavattom, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala-695581, India

*e-mail :
Received : 06.12.2018; Revised: 12.12.2018; Accepted and published online : 01.01.2019


The genus Canavalia commonly known as jack bean is an underutilized legume seen in wild and cultivated in home stead gardens. As part of its improvement programme reproductive characteristics like floral biology, pollination biology and phenology of Canavalia cathartica, Canavalia ensiformis and Canavalia gladiata were analysed. Pollen sterility using acetocarmine method and in vitro and in vivo pollen germination were analysed. Canavalia species are perennial climbing plants with twining stem and display a varied distribution range. The frequently visited insects in are the Xylocopa species. Percentage of pollen viability was 86.8% in Canavalia gladiate. As compared to the number of flowers, the seed-set percentage was very low. This may be attributed to abscission of young floral buds. Present observations can be used as baseline data for the crop improvement programmes.

  Keywords : Canavalia, pollen grain, colpus

Volume : 11(1) pp. 62-65, 2019 Download PDF

  Apospory in Helianthus ciliaris DC. (Asteraceae)

Voronova O. N.* and Babro A. A.
Laboratory Embryology and Reproductive Biology, Komarov Botanical Institute,
Prof. Popova str., 2 St. Petersburg, 197376 Russia

*e-mail :
Received : 10.12.2018; Accepted and Published online: 01.01.2019


The aposporic embryo sacs were observed in the ovules of the perennial wild sunflower species, Helianthus ciliaris DC. The aposporic embryo sac was always situated near the normal one and was somewhat retarded in comparison with it. Aposporic embryo sac formation is initiated probably as a result of some disturbances in fertilization process. Sunflower is a crosspollinating plant. H. ciliaris as the other perennial sunflower species practices vegetative propagation. Sexual reproduction takes place with difficulty. There are problems with cross-pollination. When it fails, the alternative pathways of reproduction, such as apospory take over. We could not confirm development of embryo from the aposporic embryo sacs but we do not exclude it because autonomous endosperm development has been observed.

Keywords : Apospory, aposporous initial cell, sunflower, ovule morphogenesis, Helianthus ciliaris

Volume : 11(1) pp. 66-69, 2019 Download PDF

  Evolutionary and ecological role of apomixis and asexual reproduction
Vladimir Brukhin1, 2, and Ramamurthy Baskar3
Dobzhansky Center for Genome Bioinformatics, St. Petersburg State University 41 Sredniy Prospekt,
Vasilievsky Island, Saint Petersburg 199004, Russia
Department of Plant Embryology, Komarov Botanical Institute RAS, Prof. Popov str. 2, Saint Petersburg 197376, Russia
corresponding author
Department of Biotechnology, Bhupat and Jyoti Mehta Schoolof Biosciences,
Indian Istitute of Technology-Madras, India

Received : 18.12.2018; Accepted and Published online: 01.01.2019


In sexual organisms, meiotic recombination increases the likelihood evolution to progress faster by eliminating harmful mutations (the Hill-Robertson effect). Apomictic lineages (reproducing trough asexual seeds), on the contrary, skip meiosis and do not undergo recombination; thus, they cannot restore adaptive alleles if deleterious mutations occur in these alleles. Recent population genetic studies have challenged the traditional view of apomixis as an evolutionary dead end and that it will lead to a loss of potential for adaptation to environmental changes because of the accumulation of harmful alleles and low variability. Fast phenotypic responses of apomicts to selection on short time scales indicate that apomixis imposes immediate reproductive isolation on the polyploid lineages, interferes with genetic cohesion forming fragmented gene pools into populations that develop independently, increases expansion range and ecological plasticity, and is associated with biodiversity, which indicates to accelerated genetic differentiation and ecological speciation in asexual complexes. It is suggested that apomixis may actually contribute to the diversification of angiosperms.
Keywords : Asexual reproduction, apomixis, apomeiosis, gene flow, ecological speciation, agamic complexes

Volume : 11(1) pp. 70-83, 2019 Download PDF


Pollination and breeding system in Illicium griffithii Hook. f. & Thomson, an endangered tree species of Arunachal Pradesh, India

Ester Jones Marbaniang1* and N. Venugopal2
Goodwill College, Upper New Colony, Laitumkhrah, Shillong-793 003, India
Department of Botany, Centre for Advanced Studies in Botany,
North Eastern Hill University, Shillong-793 022, India.
Received : : 02. 11.2018; Revised: 12.12.2018; Accepted and Published online: 28.12.2018


I. griffithii is one of the 42 species of the genus Illicium found worldwide, with only three species found in India. 'Illicium' is derived from the Latin word 'Illicere', meaning to attract or entice, referring to the pleasant fragrance of the fruits of Illicium and is commonly known as 'star anise'. Illicium griffithii was collected from Bomdilla, West Kameng District of Arunachal Pradesh, India at 27o05'19.7'' N and 92o35'29.1'' E and at an altitude of about 2598m amsl. The flowers are creamy white to white in colour, aromatic, axile, solitary, erect to drooping and hermaphrodite. An individual flower has 23-25 tepals. The androecium consists of 27-29 stamens and 13 carpels each with a single ovule. The flowers of I. griffithii are pollinated by a number of insects belonging to three orders: Diptera (gall midge), Coleoptera (beetles, weevil, and lady bird) and Thysanoptera (thrips). In I. griffithii the P/O indicate that the breeding system is obligate xenogamy.

Keywords : Illicium griffithii, star anise, Bomdila, pollination mechanism, breeding system, obligate xenogamy

Volume : 11(1) pp. 84-90 , 2019 Download PDF


Morphological variations and phenology of Ipomoea L. species of Arunachal Pradesh, Eastern Himalaya

Soyala Kashung, Padma Raj Gajurel* and B Singh
Forest Systematic, Ethnobiology and Horticulture laboratory
Department of Forestry, North Eastern Regional Institute of Science and Technology,
Nirjuli, Arunachal Pradesh, 791109 India

*e-mail :
Received : 16.12.2018; Revised: 26.12.2019; Accepted and Published online: 01.01.2019


The genus Ipomoea L. is one of the genera dominated by climbing species exhibits diversified variations particularly in leaf and floral morphology among the species. A taxonomic study was conducted for the genus in the state of Arunachal Pradesh to evaluate diversity in their morphology and flowering phenology. The extensive field study and characterization revealed that the species of Ipomoea show a great morphological diversification particularly in terms of the foliar and floral characters. All the species found are with climbing habits and the leaves are greatly varied both in their shape and sizes. The flowers are of various colour and ephemeral in nature lasting only for 7 to 12 hours. Both inter and intra specific variations in the flower colour were observed. The corolla is mostly infundibular but in some campanulate corolla is also observed. The flowering seasons also vary among the species. Some bloom twice and others once in a year. These variations in morphological characters can easily be employed for taxonomic delimitation of the different species.

Keywords : Ipomoea, Arunachal Pradesh, Climbers, Morphology, Flowering phenology.

Volume : 11(1) pp. 91-97 , 2019 Download PDF


Pollination biology of Larsenianthus careyanus (Benth.) W. J. Kress & Mood, (Zingiberaceae) at Mokokchung district, Nagaland, India

*S. K. Chaturvedi and Keviphruonuo Kuotsu
Department of Botany, Nagaland University, Lumami- 798627, Nagaland, India

Received : 02.12.2018; Revised : 20.12.2018; Accepted and Published online: 01.01.2019


Mechanism of pollination, pollinator's diversity as well as their foraging behavior and in vivo pollen germination of Larsenianthus careyanus has been studied for a period of eight years (2010 to 2018) in Mokokchung district of Nagaland state (India). Flowers are melissophilous and mainly foraged for nectar and pollen grains by a variety of insect genera viz., Apis (honey bees), Amegilla (blue banded bees), Bombus (Bumble bees), Xylocopa (Carpenter bees). Out of these insect foragers, the bees of Bombus, Xylocopa and Apis have been observed as best adopted for pollination of L. careyanus. The butterflies and moths have also been observed as casual visitors and are identified as nectar robbers. The mode of pollination is both nototribic as well as sternotribic depending upon the foraging behavior of different insect visitors. In vivo pollen germination takes place inside the funnel-shaped papillate stigma and is comparable with the primitive mode of pollen germinationexhibited by gymnosperms.

Keywords : Larsenianthus careyanus, Nototribic and Sternotribic pollination, Primitive mode of pollen germination, funnelshaped stigma

Volume : 11(1) pp. 98-102 , 2019 Download PDF

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