A. perveen, M. Qaiser



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145

A. PERVEEN, M. QAISER



Introduction

Caesalpinioideae  represents approximateley 11% of

the known legume flora (1), with c. 152 genera and

c. 2800 speices, mostly tropical and subtropical in

distribution (2). In Pakistan it is represented by 17

genera and 54 species (3). Polhill & Raven (4) divided

the subfamily 

Caesalpinioideae into 5 tribes, namely,

Caesalpinieae, Cassieae, Cercideae, Detarieae and

Amherstieae.

The pollen morphology of the subfamily has been

examined by a number of researchers (5-11).

However, the most significant study of 

Caesalpiniodeae

pollen is that of Graham & Baker (12).

Literature dealing with the pollen of

Caesalpinioideae 

from Pakistan is very scarce. Khan

and Memon (13) described only a few species of

Caesalpinioideae  using light microscopy. Thus, the

Tr. J. of Botany

22 (1998) 145-150

© TÜBİTAK

present study was carried out to provide palynological

information on 10 species representing 5 genera,

belonging 4 tribes, distributed in Pakistan.



Materials and Methods

Pollen samples were obtained from the Karachi

University Herbarium (KUH) or collected from the

field. The list of voucher specimens was deposited at

KUH. The pollen grains were prepared for light and

scanning microscopy by the standard methods

described by Erdtman (14). For light microscopy, the

pollen grains were mounted in unstained glycerine jelly

and observations were made with a Nikon Type-2

microscope, under (E40, 0.65) and oil immersion

(E100, 1.25) using a 10x eye piece. For SEM studies,

pollen grains suspended in a drop of distilled water

were transferred onto a metallic stub using

Pollen Flora of Pakistan - X. 

Leguminosae

(Subfamily: 

Caesalpinioideae)

Anjum PERVEEN, Mohammad QAISER

Department of Botany, University of Karachi, Karachi-PAKİSTAN

Received: 22.08.1997

Accepted: 14.11.1997

Abstract:  The pollen morphology of 11 species representing 5 genera of the subfamily 

Caesalpinioideae from Pakistan was

examined by light and scanning electron microscope. 

Caesalpinioideae is ± a eurypalynous subfamily. The pollen grains are

generallly radially symmetrical, isopolar, tricolporate and triangular-trilobed. The tectum is commonly reticulate-rugulate or

fossulate-foveolate, and often striate. The pollen morphology of the subfamily is significantly useful at the generic and specific

levels. On the basis of apocolpium, mesocolpium and tectum features, three pollen types were recongnized, namely, B

auhinia


variegata - type, Caesalpinia pulcherrima - type and Senna holosericea - type.

Key Words: 

Pollen morphology, Leguminosae: Caesalpinioideae, Flora, Pakistan.

Pakistan’ın Çiçektozu Florası - X. 

Leguminosae (Altaile: Caesalpinioideae)

Özet: Pakistan 

Caesalpinioideae alt ailesindeki 5 cinse ait 11 türün çiçektozu morfolojisi, ışık ve taramalı elektron mikroskobu ile in-

celenmiştir. 

Caesalpinioideae aşağı yukarı öripalinöz bir altailedir. Çiçektozları genellikle ışınsal simetrili, izopolar, trikulporat ve tri-

angular-triloplu’dur. Tektum çoğunlukla retikulat-rugulat veya fossulat-foveolat ve sıklıkla sitriattır. Altailenin çiçektozu morfolojisi

cins ve tür düzeyinde kullanışlıdır. Apokolpiyum, mezokolpiyum ve tektum özelliklerine dayanılarak üç polen tipi tanımlanmıştır: 

Ba-

uhinia variegata-tipi, Caesalpinia pulcherrima-tipi ve Senna holosericea-tipi.



Anahtar Sözcükler: Çiçektozu morfolojisi, 

Leguminosae: Caesalpinioideae, Flora, Pakistan.



Research Article

Pollen Flora of Pakistan - X. 

Leguminosae (Subfamily: Caesalpinioideae)

146

double-sided adhesive tape and coated with gold in a



sputtering chamber (Ion-sputter JFC-1100). Coating

was restricted to 150Å. The S.E.M examination was

carried out on a Jeol microscope JSM-T200. The

measurements were based on 15-20 readings from

each specimen. General pollen characters of the species

examined are presented in Table 1.

The terminology used is in accordance with

Erdtman (14); Kremp (15); Faegri & Iversen (16) and

Walker & Doyle (17).

Observations

General pollen characters of the family

Caesalpinioideae

Pollen grains were generally radially symmetrical,

isopolar, oblate-spheroidal to prolate-spheroidal, rarely

sub-prolate, and tricolporate. The sexine tended to be

either thicker or thinner than the nexine, rarely being

the same thickness. The tectum ranged from reticulate

to rugulate or fossulate-foveolate, and was often

striate.


Key to the pollen types

1. +


Para syncolpate, different apocolpium

and mesocolpium texture

II: 

Caesalpinia pulcherrima-type



non para syncolpate, similar apocolpium and

mesocolpium texture

2

2. +



Pollen grains striate or striate

rugulate tectum

 

 I: 


Bauhinia variegata-type

Pollen grains reticulate or fossulate-foveolate



or rugulate tectum

III: 


Senna holosericea-type

Pollen type-I: Bauhinia variegata-type (Fig. 1 A-D)

Pollen class: Tricolporate, zonoaperturate.

P/E ratio: Subtransverse to semierect.

Shape: Oblate-spheroidal to sub-prolate.

Apertures: Ectoaperture - colpi medium, narrow with

acute ends. Endoaperture la-longate, ± circular in

shape.


Exine: Sexine thicker or thinner than nexine.

Measurements: Polar length (P) 27.12 (38.5±0.11)

50.9 µm, Equatorial diameter (E) 28.1 (45.5 ± 1.11)

55.11 µm, colpus 26.5 (34 ± 1.24) 42.6 µm ong.

Mesocolpium 23.11 (40.6 ± 0.21) 50.2 µm. Exine c.

2.12 µm thick.

Name of taxa

Shape


P/E

Polar length

Equatorial Diameter

Colpus length

ratio

(P) in µm



(E) in µm

in µm


Senna alaxandria L.

Prolate 


1.01

28.7(34.18±0.75)

28.7(33.86±0.52)

25.1(29.61±0.89)

spheroidal

35.9


35.59

35.9


S.holosericea

Oblate


0.98

25.1(29.13±0.61)

26.9(30.27±0.52)

23.33(25.0±0.20)

(Fresen) Greuter

spheroidal

32.31

32.31


26.62

S.italica (Mill.)

Prolate

1.03


32.3(35.03±0.31)

30.5(33.96±0.79)

23.72(28.07±1.27)

Brum. f. 

spherodial

35.08


37.14

32.14


C.occidentalis L.

Sub-prolate

1.17

37.5(41.0±0.65)



32.5(34.32±0.49)

31.25(36.04±0.52)

46.25

38.5


41.25

S.tora (L.) Roxb

Prolate

1.01


23.7(25.1±0.25)

23.0(24.3±0.18)

17.5(20.38±2.22)

spheroidal

27.7

27.5


22.5

C.pumila Lenk.

Sub-prolate

1.30


35.0(39.9±5.17)

28.7(30.63±0.12)

32.5(38.5±0.39)

42.5


32.15

40.25


S.surattensis

Prolate


1.07

39.43(41.01±0.41)

35.9(38.21±1.79)

24.72(30.07±1.11)

Burm. f.

spheroidal

43.08

47.14


40.32

Parkinecnia

Sub-oblate

0.80


23.0(44.5±1.1)

23(35.0±1.2)

17.5(28.5±2.1)

aculeate L.

48.5

47.5


40.01

Table 


1.

General pollen characters of

different species included in

Senna holosericea-type



147

A. PERVEEN, M. QAISER

Key to the species

+

Pollen grains sub-prolate, tectum striate



Bauhinia variegata

Pollen grains oblate-spheroidal, tectum



striate-rugulate

Tamarindus indica

Pollen type-II:  Caesalpinia pulcherrima-type (Fig.1

E-G).


Pollen class: Tricolporate, zonoaperturate.

P/E ratio: suberect.

Shape: Prolate-spheroidal.

Apertures: Ectoaperture - colpi medium, para

syncolpate. Endoa-perture la-longate, ± circular in

shape.


Exine: Sexine thicker than nexine.

Ornamentation: Tectum coarsely reticulate with

distinct colpal margin, apocolpium finely reticulate.

Figure 1.

Scanning Electron micrographs of pollen grains. 

Bauhinia variegate: A, Polar view; B- Equatorial view; C, Exine pattern. Tamarindus

indica: D, Polar view. Caesalpinia pulcherrima: E, Polar view; F, Equatorial view; G, Eine pattern. Parkinsonia aculeata: H, Equatorial

view; I, Exine pattern.

Scale bar = A-H = 10 µm; I = 1 µm.


Pollen Flora of Pakistan - X. 

Leguminosae (Subfamily: Caesalpinioideae)

148

Figure 2.



Scanning Electron micrographs of pollen grains (A-C). 

Senna suranttensis: A, Polar view; B, Equatorial view; C, Exine pattern. Light

micrograph of pollen grains (D-I). 

Senna suranttensis: D, Polar view; E, Equatorial view. Senna alaxandrina: F, Polar view; G, Equatorial

view. 

S. holosericea: H, Polar view, I, Equatorial view.



Scale bar A-I = 10 µm.

Measurements: Polar length (P) 52.11 (58.8 ±

0.13) 59.9 µm, equatorial diameter (E) 51.11 (57.1

± 1.41) 58.27 µm, colpus 39.11 (50.12 ± 1.94)

52.12 µm long. Mesocolpium 38.11 (49 ± 0.22)

50.21 µm. syncolpate. Exine c. 2.11 µm thick.

Species included 

Caesalpinia pulcherrima (L.) Swartz

Pollen type-III:  Senna holosericea-type (Fig.1 H & I;

Fig.2 A-I).

Pollen class Tricolporate, zonoaperturate.

P/E ratio: Suberect to semierect, rarely

sub-transverse.

Shape: Prolate-spheroidal to sub-prolate, rarely

oblate-spheroidal.

Apertures: Ectoaperture - colpi medium, narrow with



149

A. PERVEEN, M. QAISER

acute ends.  Endoaperture la-longate, ± circular in

shape.


Exine: Sexine thicker than, rarely thinner than nexine,

often as thick as nexine.

Ornamentation: Tectum fossulate-rugulate or

rugulate-fossulate, rarely finely-coarsely reticulate,

often foveolate.

Measurements: Polar length (p) 23.7 (36.1 ± 0.11)

48.5 µm, equatorial diameter (E) 23 (35.25 ± 1.41)

47.5 µm, colpus 17.5 (31.32 ± 1.94) 47.11 µm

long. Mesocolpium 15.2 (23.6 ± 0.12) 32.5 µm.

Apocolpium 2.5 (7.5 ± 0.36) 12.5 µm. Exine 0.75

(2.11 ± 0.12) 1.25 µm thick.

Key to the species and groups

1. +

Tectum finely-coarsely 



reticulate

2



Tectum foveolate-fossulate or rugulate

4

2. +



Pollen grains sub-prolate, tectum coarsely

reticulate

Parkinsonia aculaeata

Pollen grains prolate-spheroidal, finely medium



reticulate

3

3. +



Polar length 39.49-43.06 µm 

S. surrattensis

Polar length 23.7-27.7 µm



S. tora

4. +


Pollen grains oblate-spheroidal, tectum finely

rugulate


S. holosericea

Pollen grains prolate-spheroidal, to sub-prolate,



tectum fossulate to rugulate-fossulate

5

5. +



Apocolpium 7.18-8.79 µm

6



Apocolpium 2.5-3.75 µm

C. pumila

6. +

Tectum fossulate densely breached by



perforation

S. alaxandrina

Tectum rugulate-fossulate



C.occidentalis

Results and Discussion

Caesalpinioideae is ± eurypalynous in nature. In the

present study the three pollen types recognized do not

correspound with the tribal classification (4). However,

palynology of the subfamily is significant at the

generic and the specific levels. Graham & Baker (12)

described palynology of the subfamily 

Caesalpinioideae

in relation to their tribal classification. Pollen grains

are generally radially symmetrical isopolar, tricolporate,

and triangular - trilobed. The shape is

prolate-spheroidal to oblate-spheroidal, and rarely

sub-prolate. The tectum is commonly

reticulate-rugulate or fossulate-foveolate, and often

striate. However, apocolpium, mesocolpium and tectum

types are the most important pollen characters. On

the basis of these characters, 3 distinct pollen types

are recognized, namely, I: 

Bauhinia variegata - type; II:

Caesalpinia pulcherrima-type; and III: Senna

holosericea-type. The pollen type-I is easily delimited

by its striate or striate-rugulate tectum. Two genera

viz., 

Bauhinia L., (Cercideae) and Tamarindus L.,



(

Amherstieae), each representing a single species, are

included in this pollen type. However, these two

genera can easily be distinguished on the basis of

pollen shape. For example, in 

Bauhinia L., (Bauhinia

variegata L.) sub-prolate pollen is found (11), whereas

the pollen of 

Tamarindus L., (Tamarindus indica L.) is

oblate-spheroidal in shape.

Pollen type-II is characterized by having

parasyncolpate pollen grains, with different apocolpium

and mesocolpium textures. A single species of

Caesalpinia pulcherrima (L.) swartz is included in this

pollen type. Pollen type-III is readily recognized by its

rugulate-fossulate to fossulate-foveolate or

finely-coarsely reticulate tectum. It comprises seven

species (

Cassia pumila Lamk, C. occidentalis L., S.

holosericea (Fersen) Greuter, S. tora (L.) Roxb., S.

surattensis (Brum. f.) Irwin & Barneby, S. italica Miller

and 


Parkinsonia aculeata L.) distributed in three

genera, namely 

Parkinsonia L., Senna Mill. and Cassia

L.,


The genus 

Cassia has long been recognized to be a

heterogeneous taxon (18). Bentham (19) has identified

three groups in this genus. Irwin & Barneby (20)

recognized three distinct genera within the

heterogenous taxon 

Cassia L., namely Cassia L. (s.str.)

Senna Miller and Chamaecrista Moech.

In this pollen type

Parkinsonia aculeata L., Senna

surrattensis Brum. f., S. tora (L.) Roxb, can easily be

delimited from the rest of the species by its finely to

coarsely reticulate tectum. These species are further

classified on the basis of pollen shape, polar length

and apocolpium (see key to the species).

Acknowledgements

We are thankful to the National Scienctific

Research Development Board (NSRDB), University

Grants Commission Pakistan for providing financial

support.

We are also grateful to the Director of Biological

Research center, University of Karachi, for providing

scanning electron microscope facilities.



Pollen Flora of Pakistan - X. 

Leguminosae (Subfamily: Caesalpinioideae)

150

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