The floral development of Nelumbo nucifera was compared with that noted in previous studies of Nelumbo, Nymphaeaceae, and other basal angiosperms. Important features include developmental evidence of only two sepals, development of an androecial ring meristem, and an apocarpous gynoecium composed of ascidiate carpels that become embedded in an expanded receptacle. Secretory papillate trichomes cover the stigma and line the stylar canal. This pattern of floral development, as well as the pattern of carpel closure by secretion, is common in several paleoherbs and eudicots and indicates phylogenetic affinity between Nelumbonaceae and basal angiosperms. Because of its unique floral development and anatomy, Nelumbo appears to be an isolated member of the eudicot clade (Hayes et al., 2000). Analyses of genetic relationships in Nelumbo nucifera using nuclear ribosomal ITS sequence data, ISSR and RAPD markers showed Chinese and Japanese lotus comprise a single cluste (Han et al., 2007).
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