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Cecilanthus polymerus, a novel multiparted flower from the mid-Cretaceous Rocky Point locality, Maryland


Herendeen, Patrick S; Doyle, James A; Endress, Peter K; Takahashi, Masamichi (2016). Cecilanthus polymerus, a novel multiparted flower from the mid-Cretaceous Rocky Point locality, Maryland. Botany, 94(9):787-803.

Abstract

A flower from the early Cenomanian of northeastern Maryland, Cecilanthus polymerus gen. et sp. nov., is described using SEM and synchrotron X-ray microtomography. The flower has >20 strap-shaped tepals, ca. 50 spatulate stamens with embedded adaxial pollen sacs and possibly H-valvate dehiscence, and ca. 100 more-or-less plicate carpels. Floral phyllotaxis is whorled, with >10 parts per whorl, but slightly irregular. Pollen and ovules are not preserved, but locule shape suggests that the carpels are uniovulate. Similar characters occur in extant Magnoliales and the basal ANITA grade, but never in combination. In an attempt to resolve these ambiguities, we performed morphological phylogenetic analyses, with the arrangement of extant taxa constrained to trees based primarily on molecular data. With anther dehiscence and ovule number treated as unknown, Cecilanthus has several most-parsimonious positions: nested in Nymphaeales, nested in Magnoliales, sister to Laurales, and sister to Chloranthaceae. However, scoring anther dehiscence as H-valvate and ovule number as = 1, increases support for a position in Magnoliales. Cecilanthus demonstrates that the early radiation of angiosperms produced floral morphotypes unlike those in any surviving taxa, and it illustrates the value of characters such as pollen morphology and seed anatomy for phylogenetic placement of floral mesofossils.

Abstract

A flower from the early Cenomanian of northeastern Maryland, Cecilanthus polymerus gen. et sp. nov., is described using SEM and synchrotron X-ray microtomography. The flower has >20 strap-shaped tepals, ca. 50 spatulate stamens with embedded adaxial pollen sacs and possibly H-valvate dehiscence, and ca. 100 more-or-less plicate carpels. Floral phyllotaxis is whorled, with >10 parts per whorl, but slightly irregular. Pollen and ovules are not preserved, but locule shape suggests that the carpels are uniovulate. Similar characters occur in extant Magnoliales and the basal ANITA grade, but never in combination. In an attempt to resolve these ambiguities, we performed morphological phylogenetic analyses, with the arrangement of extant taxa constrained to trees based primarily on molecular data. With anther dehiscence and ovule number treated as unknown, Cecilanthus has several most-parsimonious positions: nested in Nymphaeales, nested in Magnoliales, sister to Laurales, and sister to Chloranthaceae. However, scoring anther dehiscence as H-valvate and ovule number as = 1, increases support for a position in Magnoliales. Cecilanthus demonstrates that the early radiation of angiosperms produced floral morphotypes unlike those in any surviving taxa, and it illustrates the value of characters such as pollen morphology and seed anatomy for phylogenetic placement of floral mesofossils.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany
07 Faculty of Science > Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:580 Plants (Botany)
Language:English
Date:2016
Deposited On:26 Sep 2016 10:51
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 20:26
Publisher:NRC Research Press
ISSN:1916-2790
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1139/cjb-2016-0039

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