Ovule morphology, embryogenesis and seed development in three Hylocereus species (Cactaceae) Academic Article uri icon


  • Pre-embryonic and embryonic stages and seed developments were studied in the diploids Hylocereus monacanthus and Hylocereus undatus and the tetraploid Hylocereus megalanthus. Ovule morphology was similar among species except for micropyle entrance. H. monacanthus had the thickest and most robust suspensor. Embryo developmental time, measured from fertilization to maturity, was significantly more prolonged in H. megalanthus. Typical to Cactaceae, the seed coat was formed by one layer of sclerenchymatous cells, but was more lignified in H. megalanthus. Morphological features common to all species included (1) cellular type endosperm with independent patterns of development in the chalazal and micropylar zones, forming a haustorium layer from the chalazal zone to the embryo; (2) an endothelial layer surrounding the embryo sac almost complete; (3) a nucellar summit growing into the micropyle; and (4) a placental obturator and a funicle connecting the ovarian tissue to the ovule. Seed development was typically endospermic (exendospermic orthodox seeds). Anomalies included two egg cells in the same embryo sac, two embryos developing in the same ovule, and embryos developing from the chalazal pole region. Total seed number and seed viability were significantly lower in H. megalanthus than in the other two taxa. Embryos at different developmental stages were observed in aborted H. megalanthus seeds.

publication date

  • January 1, 2011