Quantitative developmental analysis of homeotic ...

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Title Quantitative developmental analysis of homeotic changes in the inflorescence of Philodendron (Araceae)
Author(s) , Denis Barabé, Christian Lacroix, Bernard Jeune
Journal Annals of Botany
Date 2008
Volume 101
Issue 7
Start page 1027
End page 1034
Abstract Background and Aims The inflorescence of Philodendron constitutes an interesting morphological model to analyse the phenomenon of homeosis quantitatively at the floral level. The specific goals of this study were (1) to characterize and quantify the range of homeotic transformation in Philodendron billietiae, and (2) to test the hypothesis that the nature of flowers surrounding atypical bisexual flowers (ABFs) channel the morphological potentialities of atypical bisexual flowers. Methods Inflorescences of P. billietiae at different stages of development were observed using SEM. The number of appendices in male, female and sterile flowers were counted on 11 young inflorescences (5–6 flowers per inflorescence). The number of staminodes and carpels on ABFs were counted on 19 inflorescences (n = 143). These data were used for regression and ANOVA analyses. Results There was an average of 4·1 stamens per male flower, 9·8 carpels per female flower and 6·8 staminodes per sterile male flower. There was an average of 7·3 floral appendices per atypical flower. Staminodes and carpels are inserted on the same whorl in ABFs. A negative exponential relationship was found between the average number of staminodes and the number of carpels in ABFs. If only the ABFs consisting of less than six carpels are considered, there is a linear relationship between the number of carpels and the average number of staminodes. The value of the slope of the regression equation indicates that on average, in P. billietiae, 1·36 carpels are replaced by one staminode. Conclusions In P. billietiae, the number of appendages in female flowers imposes a constraint on the maximum total number of appendages (carpels and staminodes) that can develop on ABFs. The quantitative analyses indicate that the average number of different types of floral appendages on an ABF and the number of organs involved in a homeotic transformation are two independent phenomena.
DOI 10.1093/aob/mcn031
PubMed ID 18356291
PubMed Central ID PMC2710224

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