Chin Bull Bot ›› 2017, Vol. 52 ›› Issue (3): 322-330.doi: 10.11983/CBB16104

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Sporangia Morphology of Ferns I. Lindsaeaceae

Xile Zhou1, Dongmei Jin1, Yicheng Liu2, Hui Shang1, Yuehong Yan1*   

  1. 1Shanghai Chenshan Plant Science Research Center, Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 201602, China
    2Department of Biological Resources, National Chiayi University, Chiayi 600004, China
  • Received:2016-05-06 Accepted:2016-07-12 Online:2017-05-27 Published:2017-05-01
  • Contact: Yan Yuehong
  • About author:

    # Co-first authors


Sporangia are propagative organs of ferns and their morphology has great significance for fern taxonomy and phylogeny. In this study, we used sodium hypochlorite solution to observe fern sporangia. By this process, we could obtain sporangia photos under light microscopy. We studied the sporangia morphology of 13 species belonging to four genera of the fern family Lindsaeaceae and found that the shape of the capsule is ellipsoidal, with a vertical annulus; the pedicel is composed of three rows of cells. The cell number annulus is reduced in Odontosoria, Osmolindsaea, Tapeinidium and Lindsaea, whereas the volume of capsule and cell number of stomium and capsule are reduced in Odontosoria, Tapeinidium, Osmolindsaea and Lindsaea. As well, the same genus shows more differences between species, such as Odontosoria biflora and O. chinensis as well as Osmolindsaea odorata and Os. japonica, but less difference between the genera of Tapeinidium and Lindsaea. Studies of sporangia morphology will be useful for further research in other groups of ferns.

Figure 1

Type of sporangia annulus (Foster et al., 1983) (A) Lateral; (B) Apical; (C)-(F) Oblique; (G) Vertical"

Table 1

The genera of Lindsaeaceae"

Associated with Lindsaeaceae in the past Recognized today Unsolved
Lindsaea Dryand. ex Sm.
Odontosoria Fée
Ormoloma Maxon
Sphenomeris Maxon
Tapeinidium (C.Presl) C.Chr.
Schizoloma Gaud.
Stenoloma Fée
Xyropteris Kramer
Cystodium J. Sm.
Lonchitis L.
Lindsaea Dryand. ex Sm. (Synonym: Ormoloma; Schizoloma)
Odontosoria Fée
Sphenomeris Maxon (Synonym: Stenoloma)
Tapeinidium (C.Presl) C.Chr.
Osmolindsaea (K. U. Kramer) Lehtonen & Christenh.
Nesolindsaea Lehtonen & Christenh.
Xyropteris Kramer
Cystodium J. Sm.
Lonchitis L.

Table 2

Source of materials"

Species Locality Vouchers
Odontosoria biflora Lanyu, Taiwan Y. C. Liu et al., 6003
O. chinensis Xiuning, Anhui X. L. Zhou et al., 1-20
Osmolindsaea odorata Wuming, Guangxi X. L. Zhou et al., 5161
Os. japonica Zihuai, Sichuan X. L. Zhou et al., 5680
Lindsaea eberhardtii Lingshui, Hainan Y. H. Liu et al., 1-55
L. merrillii subsp. yaeyamensis Lanyu, Taiwan Y. C. Liu et al., 6012
L. javanensis Pingbian, Yunnan X. L. Zhou et al., 5887
L. orbiculata Shangsi, Guangxi X. L. Zhou et al., 5093a
L. cultrata Lanyu, Taiwan Y. C. Liu et al., 6014
L. heterophylla Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden, Shanghai X. L. Zhou, 1-B2
L. ensifolia Menghai, Yunnan X. L. Zhou et al., 5801
Tapeinidium pinnatum Lanyu, Taiwan Y. C. Liu et al., 6011
T. pinnatum var. biserratum Lanyu, Taiwan Y. C. Liu et al., 6015

Figure 2

Sporangium with vertical annulus The pedicel is uncolored, the colored part is capsule. The annulus in brown color. Bold black line shows thick-wall. The stomium in green color, and with thick-walled stomium in centre. The wall of capsule in yellow color."

Figure 3

Sporangia morphology of Lindsaeaceae(A) Odontosoria biflora; (B) O. chinensis; (C) Osmolindsaea odorata; (D) Os. japonica; (E) Lindsaea eberhardtii; (F) L. merrillii subsp. yaeyamensis; (G) L. javanensis; (H) L. orbiculata. Bar=100 μm. The length of pedicel can not be used for comparing since some of it was broken."

Figure 4

Sporangia morphology of Lindsaeaceae(A) Lindsaea cultrata; (B) L. heterophylla; (C) L. ensifolia; (D) Tapeinidium pinnatum; (E) T. pinnatum var. biserratum. Bar=100 μm. The length of pedicel can not be used for comparing since some of it was broken."

Table 3

Sporangia morphology of Lindsaeaceae"

Taxon Cell No. of
Length of
Length of
Width of
Volume of capsule (mm3) Cell No.
of sto-
Cell No. of cap-
Lindsaeaceae 12.9 326.0 195.0 158.8 0.003 8.4 2.4 15.9
Odontosoria 17.9 309.1 240.6 199.0 0.006 10.2 2.7 19.1
Osmolindsaea 16.5 313.2 213.0 172.4 0.004 7.9 2.0 17.1
Tapeinidium 13.6 388.2 231.1 180.1 0.005 9.1 2.7 17.4
Lindsaea 10.2 293.5 166.5 137.4 0.002 7.8 2.3 14.3
Odontosoria biflora 21.6 331.0 252.6 199.7 0.006 11.1 3.3 20.0
O. chinensis 14.2 287.2 228.7 198.2 0.005 9.3 2.0 18.2
Osmolindsaea odorata 19.4 329.7 270.6 215.5 0.008 7.9 2.0 18.2
Os. japonica 13.5 296.8 155.3 129.2 0.002 7.8 2.0 16.0
Tapeinidium pinnatum 13.0 359.5 223.7 174.8 0.004 8.6 2.0 16.8
T. pinnatum var. biserratum 14.2 416.9 238.5 185.4 0.005 9.6 3.4 18.0
Lindsaea eberhardtii 11.5 333.7 183.1 141.5 0.002 8.0 2.0 15.0
L. merrillii subsp. yaeyamensis 9.7 319.9 146.2 139.0 0.002 7.0 2.9 13.0
L. javanensis 10.2 408.1 171.0 132.6 0.002 7.4 2.0 14.0
L. orbiculata 10.0 348.0 172.7 140.8 0.002 7.9 2.0 13.8
L. cultrata 9.7 213.6 150.4 132.6 0.001 7.0 3.1 15.2
L. heterophylla 10.2 250.3 168.3 142.6 0.002 8.6 2.0 14.6
L. ensifolia 10.2 180.8 174.2 132.9 0.002 8.8 2.0 14.4

Figure 5

Comparisons of sporangia morphology among four genera in Lindsaeaceae(A) Volume of capsule; (B) Cell number of annulus; (C) Cell number of capsule; (D) Cell number of stomium. Genera with no letters in common are significantly different (multiple comparisons using Turkey’s method, P<0.05). For each box-and-whisker plot, the box shows 25%, median and 75% quantile of the given values. The whiskers extend to the most extreme data points that are not more than 1.5 times the interquartile range (length of the box) from the box."

Figure 6

Phylogenetic relationships within Lindsaeaceae (Lehtonen et al., 2010)"

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