Comprehensive characteristics and genetic diversity of the endemic Australian Viola banksii (section Erpetion, Violaceae)

Monika Kwiatkowska, Justyna Zabicka, Grzegorz Migdalek, Piotr Zabicki, Marlena Cubala, Jerzy Bohdanowicz, Aneta Slomka, Monika Jedrzejczyk-Korycinska, Elwira Sliwinska, Klaudia Sychta, Thomas Marcussen, Kevin Thiele, Elzbieta Kuta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Viola banksii, the type species of section Erpetion, is endemic in eastern mainland Australia. In this paper we characterise morphological and anatomical features and assess genome size and genetic diversity in combination with the breeding system. V. banksii develops exclusively chasmogamous flowers. Ovules are anatropous, crassinucellate and bitegmic, the female gametophyte is of the Polygonum type, and the embryo is of Asterad type surrounded by nuclear endosperm. Pollen is non-heteromorphic, 3-aperturate, and highly viable. V. banksii grows in shade on moist, well drained, often sandy soils, and this is reflected in the anatomy of its organs, which includes a lack of subepidermal collenchyma in aerial parts, large leaf epidermal cells with thin cell walls, a narrow cuticle layer, and vascular bundles with xylem that are not rich in vessels. V. banksii is tolerant to zinc and lead based on phytotoxicity test. The high chromosome number (2n=10x=50) does not correspond to a small genome size (2CDNA=1.27 pg). Lowmean intra-populational gene diversity (H-S = 0.077) detected by ISSR markers confirms the strong influence of selfing and clonal propagation by pseudostolons. Unique morphological traits of V. banksii include nyctinastic petal movement, the lack of afloral spur, the presence of gland-like protuberances on two stamens, and the presence of pseudostolons, which could be a synapomorphy for the whole section.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-88
Number of pages8
JournalAustralian Journal of Botany
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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