Tricotyledony in Swertia perennis

The spontaneous formation of more than the usual number of cotyledons within a species has been referred as pleiocotyly or polycotyly.
I’m sure for many this already comes with the exclamation – boring!!!

But, this is not a common event and I didn’t find any source reporting it for Gentianaceae so, here it is, my short personal communication about spontaneous  tricotyledony in Swertia perennis L. – Fam. Gentianaceae.

Swertia perennis seedlings with three cotyledons among normal ones (6 from about 22 seedlings)

And yes, even more boring and without any pretty picture!

The genetic basis for natural variation in the cotyledon number is still to be completely understood and although not extensively researched it has been reported in Populus, Prosopis, Acacia, Helianthus annuus, Solanum lycopersicum, Raphanus and few other species.

It has been speculated that additional cotyledons may result in better development and establishment of the seedlings; I’ll see how the little tri -Swertias develop :) and report back about them.

Swertia perennis – google images

5 replies
    • diversifolius
      diversifolius says:

      I knew there can be variation in the nr. of cotyledons but never experience it first hand until now; I had to do a bit of literature research about it (talking geek to geek ;)

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