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The Ultrastructure of Sahnia Pollen (Pentoxylales)

Jeffrey M. Osborn, Thomas N. Taylor and Peter R. Crane
American Journal of Botany
Vol. 78, No. 11 (Nov., 1991), pp. 1560-1569
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2444981
Page Count: 10
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The Ultrastructure of Sahnia Pollen (Pentoxylales)
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Abstract

The micromorphology and fine structure of in situ pentoxylalean pollen are described from the holotype of Sahnia laxiphora Drinnan and Chambers 1985 collected from the Lower Cretaceous (Valanginian-Aptian) of Victoria, southeastern Australia. Pollen grains are ovoid, monosulcate, and relatively small, averaging 26 μm in length. Exine ornamentation is psilate. The sporoderm is two-parted with the sexine staining lightly throughout and approximately six times the thickness of the more darkly staining nexine. The exine over the sulcus is typically strongly invaginated, and may or may not include an extremely thin sexine layer. The outer part of the sexine is homogeneous, while the inner part is composed of relatively large granules separated by irregular lacunae of various sizes; lacunae are most pronounced at the sexine-nexine interface. Faint lamellae characterize the nexine in both apertural and nonapertural regions. Granular orbicules are often associated with the exine surfaces and also occur appressed to pollen sac walls along with lamellated tapetal membranes. Sporoderm ultrastructure is compared to that of nonsaccate pollen of other groups, and particularly to pollen of Bennettitales, Gnetales, angiosperms, and similar plants, to which the Pentoxylales have been thought to be closely related. Although Sahnia laxiphora pollen is not identical to that of any of these taxa, the strongest similarity is with pollen of Bennettitales.

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