AJPS  Vol.7 No.10 , July 2016
A Systematic Revision of the Genus Plectranthus L. (Lamiaceae) in Saudi Arabia Based on Morphological, Palynological, and Micromorphological Characters of Trichomes
Abstract: This study aims to investigate the morphology and ultrastructure characters of pollen grains and trichomes in order to evaluate their systematic value of these characters in specific and intraspecific separation of the Saudi Arabian Plectranthus species. A critical systematic revision of 7 species of Plectranthus (Lamiaceae) in Saudi Arabia was conducted by means of numerical analyses based on thirty-one morphological characters, including vegetative parts, seeds, pollen grains, and trichomes. Macro- and micro-morphological characters, including seed and pollen shape, size, coat sculpture, trichome structure, were studied. It reveals the presence of seven species, including two endemic species. The pollen grains were zonocolpate, hexacolpate, prolate to subprolate. Three types of exine ornamentation were recognized. Also, two trichome types could be distinguished and classified into glandular and non-glandular. The glandular trichomes could be distinguished as peltate, capitate and digitiform. The eglandular trichomes were single, uniseriate, multicellular. Pollen and trichome characters were found to be valuable, while seed characters presented only minor taxonomic value. On the basis of UPGMA clustering analysis four branches and clusters were distinguished. The results offer useful data for evaluating the taxonomy of Plectranthus both at subgeneric and sectional levels. Our results indicated some degree of similarity among the species of subgenus Burnatastrum. Plectranthus arabicus is considered as a separate group and may be treated as separate subgenus. Furthermore, the endemic species Plectranthus asirensis and Plectranthus hijazensis constitute a monophyletic group and there are close relationships between this group and Plectranthus tenuiflorus. A key for the identification of the investigated taxa based on studied characters is provided.
Cite this paper: Abdel Khalik, K. (2016) A Systematic Revision of the Genus Plectranthus L. (Lamiaceae) in Saudi Arabia Based on Morphological, Palynological, and Micromorphological Characters of Trichomes. American Journal of Plant Sciences, 7, 1429-1444. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2016.710137.

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