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First report of polyembryony in Inga feuillei (Leguminosae, ingeae)

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Zapater, M. A., Lozano, E. C. and Hoc, P. S.

The genus Inga Mill. comprises approximately 300 species with tropical and subtropical distribution from Central America to Argentina, six of them grow in Argentina, I. feuillei DC, a species that grow in the rainforests of Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia, but is widely cultivated in the neotropic from Colombia to northern Chile owing to its potential as shade tree, nitrificant of soils, edible seeds and useful wood, is cultivated in northwestern Argentina. Nowadays few cases of polyembryony in species of Inga are reported. Perhaps in the future with more documentation it should be possible to analyze the sense of the polyembryony if only one or none will survive. It can be concluded that I. feuillei is viviparous, polyembryony exist; the cotyledons do not photosynthetize, store the reserves with which the embryo or embryos will start to grow; the development of each seedling depend of the competence among sister plants, perhaps during the first steps of the development. The survival of the seedlings do not increases with the existence of polyembryony. There is a negative correlation between the length of a seedling and the existence of sister ones. The length of the fruit determine the number of germinated seeds.

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