Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Science

Major

Biology

Date of Defense

8-7-2011

Graduate Advisor

Elizabeth A. Kellogg

Committee

Peter Jorgensen

Richard Keating

Abstract

Few comprehensive empirical studies have ever been published on Violaceae, and the basal part of the family, particularly Fusispermum spp. and Rinorea spp. In this research morphology and anatomy of stem, node, leaf, flower, and seeds of Fusispermum spp., Rinorea spp., and Goupia glabra were studied to understand the basal evolution of Violaceae from an anatomical and morphological perspective. This study reflects the value of anatomical studies when related to phylogenetic work. Nodal, petiole, flower and seed morphology and anatomy is a good example. The trilacunar nodes of G. glabra found are consistent with the movement of Goupia from Celastraceae to Malpighiales. Variation in the androecium and nectary in the Violaceae and Goupiaceae examined clarified the relationships of the distinctive androecium so common in other Violaceae with more conventional structures found in many other members of the parietal placentation group. Without such knowledge on anatomy and morphology we cannot hope to understand evolution and diversification, not only of Violaceae, but of the Malpighiales as a whole.

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