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Gynoecium development and the heterotopic shift of stigma in Apocynaceae

Grant number: 15/19639-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2015
Effective date (End): November 30, 2016
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Botany - Plant Morphology
Principal Investigator:Diego Demarco
Grantee:Isabela Castro de Oliveira
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


The Apocynaceae possess a great floral diversity and pollination systems related to extremely elaborate flowers with high degree of synorganization between parts of a same whorl and between different whorls. Comprehending the alterations of the development processes that resulted in this degree of morphological differentiation would help to understand this group's evolution and its phylogenetic relationships. The developmental study creates important data about the floral's morphological diversity through the discovery of key innovations and, in Apocynaceae, many evolutionary trends are related to their flowers. One of the first observed variations is the modification of the stigma position and its function. This occurred prematurely in the group's evolutionary history and can be accessed through the study of basal genera, and for that, this work aims to analyses flowers of two basal genera closely related (Aspidosperma and Tabernaemontana), each one with different position and function of the stigmas. This study will use floral meristems, floral buds in different stages of development and adult flowers through structural and ontogenetic analyses in light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. In addition, artificial pollinations will be performed to verify the region of pollen tubes penetration in the gynoecium. The results obtained will be compared with the ones in the literature and an evolutionary hypothesis on the stigma heterotopic evolution will be proposed for the group and its consequent establishment in a sub-terminal position in four of their five subfamilies. (AU)

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