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Am J Bot. 2001 Jun;88(6):963-74.

Developmental morphology of ovules and seeds of Nymphaeales.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of Science, University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan.


Ovule and seed development in six species of Nymphaeales was examined. In the Cabombaceae the two species studied resemble some extant basal angiosperms by having a hood-shaped outer integument. A micropyle-hilum complex results when the outer integument and derived testa are lacking between the micropyle and the funiculus, thus the hood-shaped appearance. In the Nymphaeaceae the outer integument is annular at an early stage and then cup-shaped though it is semiannular at initiation in Nupar japonicum and Nymphaea alba. The micropyle and hilum are separated by an intervening testa. Developmental data on the formation of the outer integument, from semiannular to hood-shaped vs. from annular to cup-shaped, are useful for inferring the morphology of the outer integument from the relative position of the micropyle to the hilum in seed fossils. The oldest (early Cretaceous) probable nymphaealean seeds had the micropyle-hilum complex, suggesting that the hood-shaped outer integument may be primitive in the Nymphaeales. This needs to be tested by examination of this feature in other groups of basal angiosperms.

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