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Morpho-anatomical study of the bractless equisetalean fertile shoot, Tulsidabaria indica, from the Early Permian of the Indian Lower Gondwana


, : Morpho-anatomical study of the bractless equisetalean fertile shoot, Tulsidabaria indica, from the Early Permian of the Indian Lower Gondwana. Palaeontographica Abteilung B Palaeophytologie 267(1-3): 19-32, Februar

The morpho-anatomical analysis of stems, leaves, and fructifications of the equisetalean fertile shoots of Tulsidabaria indica Banerjee & D'Rozario from late Early Permian sediments of Saharjuri Basin, Indian Lower Gondwana reveal significant features unlike known equisetalean plants. The free leaves emerging from the nodes above the fertile nodes show a distinct midvein. Lateral striae-like thickenings observed in cuticular preparations. Tracheids recovered from stems have predominately scalariform thickenings, and occasional simple and bordered pits. The fructifications at nodes are bractless sporangiophores, which branch dichotomously once proximally and profusely towards distal part. Groups of four sporangia occur at the tip of the ultimate twice-forked short branches; the sporangia are arranged in a semicircular pattern around the sporangiophore. The sporangia at the terminal position of the ultimate branch emerge from a thick tissue simulating a rudimentary shield-like structure. Sporangia homosporous, contain Calamospora-like spores. Tulsidabaria shared some characters similar to the primitive equisetalean plant Archaeocalamites of the Euramerican flora, to Gondwanostachys, Giridia, Phyllotheca uluguruana of the Lower Gondwana flora and to Koretrophyllites, Neokoretrophyllites of the Angara flora. Tulsidabaria with distinct morpho-anatomical features is recognised as the new family Tulsidabariaceae under Equisetales. The morphological organisation pattern of the ultimate branches of the bractless fructification of Tulsidabaria may be considered as an intermediate stage in the evolution of the Equisetum cone.

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