We examined the developmental morphology of the tropical Asian one-leaf plant Monophyllaea glabra, which is believed to have diverged first in the phylogenetic tree of the genus. The embryo within the seed consists of two cotyledons and a hypocotyl with no shoot or root apical meristems. The endogenous root meristem is formed nearer the hypocotyl end than in other examined Monophyllaea species. One of the cotyledons grows to form the macrocotyledon by means of the basal meristem. The groove meristem arises between the anisocotyledons, shifts toward the macrocotyledon, and is transformed to the inflorescence apex, which produces inflorescence axes in the axils of all ventral bracts of two rows, and secondary inflorescences in the axils of the lower dorsal bracts of the other two rows. The macrocotyledon may act as a ventral bract for the first inflorescence axis at the reproductive stage. This organization suggests that a common ancestor of Monophyllaea and Whytockia with decussate inflorescences diverged in one direction to become Monophyllaea and in another to become Whytockia.
Developmental morphology of the Asian one-leaf plant, Monophyllaea glabra (Gesneriaceae) with emphasis on inflorescence morphology
Publication: Journal of Plant Research