Abstract

The palynology of 16 species of Aizoaceae and Molluginaceae distributed in Egypt and Sudan were studied by light microscopes (LM) and scanning electron microscopes (SEM). Pollen is generally 3-zonocolpate, suboblate, oblatespheroidal, prolate-spheroidal, subprolate or prolate. The polar axis ranges from 16.9 to 44.4 μm, while the equatorial diameter ranges from 15.3 to 33.2 μm. Pollen shape is trilobate, triangular or circular in polar outline and elliptic, ovate or apiculate in equatorial outline. Sculpturing is microechinate, punctate-scabrate, scabrate, sparsely punctate; microechinate, reticulate-striate or microechinate, psilate. Six pollen types were recognized, viz. the Limeum pollen type, the Mesembryanthemum nodiflorum pollen type, the Mollugo pollen type, the Mesembryanthemum crystallinum pollen type, the Zaleya pollen type and the Aizoon hispanicum pollen type. Descriptions of each type and a key to investigated taxa, as well SEM micrographs of pollen types, are provided. Moreover, numerical analysis on the basis of Unpaired Group Method of Average (UPGMA) clustering and factor loadings to pollen data led us to recognize six major clades. Four of them have only one species out of the total species number. The fifth major clade includes eight species, while the sixth major clade has four species.

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