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Monocotyledons
Fossil range: Early Cretaceous - Recent
Hemerocallis flower, with three flower parts in each whorl
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Orders

About 10; see text

Wheat, an economically important monocot


Monocotyledons or monocots are one of two major groups of flowering plants (angiosperms) that are traditionally recognized, the other being dicotyledons or dicots. Monocot seedlings typically have one cotyledon (seed-leaf), in contrast to the two cotyledons typical of dicots. Monocots have been recognized at various taxonomic ranks, and under various names (see below). The APG II system recognises a clade called "monocots" but does not assign it to a taxonomic rank.

There are between 50,000 and 60,000 species within this group; according to IUCN there are 59,300 species.[1] The largest family in this group (and in the flowering plants as a whole) by number of species are the orchids (family Orchidaceae), with about 20,000 species. In agriculture the majority of the biomass produced comes from monocots.[2] The economically most important family in this group (and in all plant families) are the true grasses, family Poaceae (Gramineae). These include all the true grains (rice, wheat, maize, etc.), the pasture grasses, sugar cane, and the bamboos. True grasses have evolved to become highly specialised for wind pollination. Grasses produce much smaller flowers, which are gathered in highly visible plumes (inflorescences). Other economically important monocot families are the palm family (Arecaceae), banana family (Musaceae), ginger family (Zingiberaceae) and the onion family Alliaceae, which includes such ubiquitously used vegetables as onions and garlic.

Many plants cultivated for their blooms are also from the monocot group, notably lilies, daffodils, irises, amaryllis, orchids, cannas, bluebells and tulips.

Contents

Name, characters

The name monocotyledons is derived from the traditional botanical name Monocotyledones, which derives from the fact that most members of this group have one cotyledon, or embryonic leaf, in their seeds. By contrast, the traditional dicotyledons typically have two cotyledons. From a diagnostic point of view the number of cotyledons is neither a particularly handy (as they are only present for a very short period in a plant's life), nor totally reliable character.

Nevertheless, monocots are a distinctive group.[3] One of the most noticeable traits is that a monocot's flower is trimerous, with the flower parts in threes or in multiples of three. That is to say, a monocotyledon's flower typically has three, six, or nine petals. Many monocots also have leaves with parallel veins.

Hypoxis decumbens L. with a typical monocot perigone and parallel leaf venation

Evolution

Monocots evolved from a single ancestor, and are younger than dicots, from which they probably branched off, as recent genetic research has shown. They evolved 100-120 million years ago, shortly after the flowering plant explosion.

Morphology, compared to the (broadly defined) dicotyledons

The traditionally listed differences between monocotyledons and dicotyledons are as follows. This is a broad sketch only, not invariably applicable, as there are a number of exceptions. The differences indicated are more true for monocots versus eudicots.[3]

Slice of onion, showing parallel veins in cross section
Ceroxylon quindiuense (Quindio wax palm) is considered the tallest monocot in the world
Feature In monocots In dicots
Number of parts of each flower in threes (flowers are trimerous) in fours or fives (tetramerous or pentamerous)
Number of furrows or pores in pollen one three
Number of cotyledons (leaves in the seed) one two
Arrangement of vascular bundles in the stem scattered in concentric circles
Roots are adventitious develop from the radicle
Arrangement of major leaf veins parallel reticulate

A number of these differences are not unique to the monocots. For example, trimerous flowers and monosulcate pollen are also found in magnoliids.[3] Exclusively adventitious roots are found also in Nymphaeaceae and some of the Piperaceae.[3] Similarly, at least one of these traits, parallel leaf veins, is far from universal among the monocots. Monocots with reticula te leaf veins are found in a wide variety of monocot families: for example, Trillium, Smilax (greenbriar), and Pogonia (an orchid), and the Dioscoreales.[3] Nevertheless, this list of traits is a generally valid set of contrasts, especially when contrasting monocots with eudicots rather than non-monocot flowering plants in general.[3]

Emergence

Some monocots, such as grasses, have hypogeal emergence, where the mesocotyl elongates and pushes the coleoptile (which encloses and protects the shoot tip) toward the soil surface.[4] Since elongation occurs above the cotyledon, it is left in place in the soil where it was planted. Many dicots have epigeal emergence, the hypocotyl elongates and becomes arched in the soil. As the hypocotyl continues to elongate, it pulls the cotyledons upward, above the soil surface.

Vascular system

Monocots have a distinctive arrangement of vascular tissue known as an atactostele in which the vascular tissue is scattered rather than arranged in concentric rings. Many monocots are herbaceous and do not have the ability to increase the width of a stem (secondary growth) via the same kind of vascular cambium found in non-monocot woody plants.[3] However, some monocots do have secondary growth, and because it does not arise from a single vascular cambium producing xylem inwards and phloem outwards, it is termed "anomalous secondary growth".[5] Examples of large monocots which either exhibit secondary growth, or can reach large sizes without it, are palms (Arecaceae), screwpines (Pandanaceae), bananas (Musaceae), Yucca, Aloe, Dracaena, and Cordyline.[3]

Classification

The monocots are considered to form a monophyletic group arising early in the history of the flowering plants. The earliest fossils presumed to be monocot remains date from the early Cretaceous period.

Taxonomists have considerable latitude in naming this group, as the monocots are a group above the rank of family. Article 16 of the ICBN allows either a descriptive name or a name formed from the name of an included family.

Grass sprouting on left (a monocot), showing hypogeal development (the cotyledon remains underground and is not visible). Compare to a dicot (right)

Historically, the monocotyledons were named:

Each of the systems mentioned above use their own internal taxonomy for the group. The monocotyledons are famous as a group that is extremely stable in its outer borders (it is a well-defined, coherent group), while in its internal taxonomy is extremely unstable (historically no two authoritative systems have agreed with each other on how the monocotyledons are related to each other).

Recent molecular studies have both confirmed the monophyly of the monocots and helped elucidate relationships within this group. The APG II system does not assign the monocots to a taxonomic rank, instead recognizing a monocots clade. This system recognizes ten orders of monocots and two families of monocots (Petrosaviaceae and Dasypogonaceae) not yet assigned to any order. More recently, the Petrosaviaceae has been included in the Petrosaviales, and placed near the lilioid orders.[6]

clade monocots :
Mesangiospermae

Chloranthaceae



Magnoliidae



monocots

Acorales




Alismatales




Asparagales



Dioscoreales



Liliales



Pandanales



Petrosaviales



Commelinidae (commelinids)







Ceratophyllum



eudicots



The current phylogeny and composition of the monocots.


The family Hydatellaceae, assigned to order Poales in the APG II system, has since been recognized as being misplaced in the monocots, and instead proves to be most closely related to the water lilies, family Nymphaeaceae.

References and external links

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Reed, Barbara (2008). Plant cryopreservation a practical guide. New York: Springer. pp. 241. ISBN 978-0-387-72276-4. http://www.springerlink.com/content/u1gt1354336rr343/. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Mark W. Chase (2004). "Monocot relationships: an overview". American Journal of Botany 91: 1645–1655. doi:10.3732/ajb.91.10.1645. http://www.amjbot.org/cgi/content/full/91/10/1645. 
  4. ^ Radosevich, Steven R.; Holt, Jodie S.; Ghersa, Claudio (1997). Weed ecology: implications for management. New York: J. Wiley. ISBN 0-471-11606-8. http://books.google.com/books?id=uK9R7N-QaJMC&pg=RA1-PA149&. 
  5. ^ , doi:10.1666/0094-8373(2005)031[0077:KICASM2.0.CO;2], http://www.phylodiversity.net/donoghue/publications/MJD_papers/2005/149_MJD_Paleo05.pdf 
  6. ^ Cantino, Philip D.; James A. Doyle, Sean W. Graham, Walter S. Judd, Richard G. Olmstead, Douglas E. Soltis, Pamela S. Soltis, & Michael J. Donoghue (2007). "Towards a phylogenetic nomenclature of Tracheophyta". Taxon 56 (3): E1–E44. 


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

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Wikispecies

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies

Taxonavigation

Classification System: APG II (down to family level)

Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiospermae
Cladus: Monocots
Cladus: Familia: Petrosaviaceae; Ordines: Acorales - Alismatales - Asparagales - Dioscoreales - Liliales - Pandanales; Cladus: Commelinids

Name

Monocots

References

  • Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (2003). An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG II. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 141: 399–436 pdf file
  • Friedrich A. Lohmueller: The Botanical System of the Plants [1] (Following APG II classification)
  • Liliopsida Report on ITIS (Following Cronquist classification)
  • NCBI link: Liliopsida (Following APG classification)

Vernacular names

Česky: Jednoděložné
Deutsch: Einkeimblättrige
English: Monocots
Français: Monocotylédone
Hrvatski: Jednosupnice
Italiano: Monocotiledoni
עברית: חד-פסיגיים
Македонски: Монокотиледони
Nederlands: Eenzaadlobbigen
日本語: 単子葉植物
Polski: Jednoliścienne
Русский: Однодольные
Suomi: Yksisirkkaiset
Svenska: Monokotyledoner, enhjärtbladiga växter
Tiếng Việt: Thực vật một lá mầm
Türkçe: Bir çenekliler
中文: 單子葉植物綱
Wikimedia Commons For more multimedia, look at monocots on Wikimedia Commons.

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