The floral development of Whytockia W. W. Smith has been studied in order to explore the developmental basis for the arrangement and differentiation patterns of floral organs, and the evolutionary relationship between Whytockia and allies in floral development. The descending imbricate aestivations in both calyx and corolla have remarkably different ontogenetic patterns between calyx and corolla which are derivative with respect to the development of the valvate aestivations in the four‐stamened Rhynchoglossum. Both corolla lobes and stamens are initiated simultaneously from the same ring meristem. However, the five stamens remarkably precede the initiation of the five corolla lobes. Also, the adaxial stamen is suppressed after initiation to become a staminode, concomitant with retardation of its adjacent organs during development. This situation, together with the non‐acropetal order among whorls of floral organs in Whytockia, is possibly related to a late expression and a remarkably different expression pattern of cycloidea‐like genes as compared to Antirrhinum. Furthermore, the axile placentation in the bilocular ovary of Whytockia is formed by an involute closure of carpels rather than derived from a secondary fusion of two intrusive parietal placentae.
Patterns and Significance of Floral Development in Whytockia (Gesneriaceae)
Publication: Plant Biology