Vol. 76 No. 1 (2021)

Pollen morphology and variability of species from the genus Rubus L. (Rosaceae) alien and invasive in Poland

Kacper Lechowicz
Department of Forest Botany, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology, Poznań University of Life Sciences, Wojska Polskiego 71 d, 60-625 Poznań, Poland
Jan Bocianowski
Department of Mathematical and Statistical Methods, Faculty of Agronomy and Bioengineering, Poznań University of Life Sciences, Wojska Polskiego 28, 60-637 Poznań, Poland
Dorota Wrońska-Pilarek
Department of Forest Botany, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology, Poznań University of Life Sciences, Wojska Polskiego 71 d, 60-625 Poznań, Poland
Published April 6, 2021
  • pollen morphology,
  • interspecific variability,
  • intraspecific variability,
  • Rubus,
  • alien and invasive blackberries
How to Cite
Lechowicz, K., Bocianowski, J., & Wrońska-Pilarek, D. (2021). Pollen morphology and variability of species from the genus Rubus L. (Rosaceae) alien and invasive in Poland. Webbia, 76(1), 109-121. https://doi.org/10.36253/jopt-10355


Rubus L. is one of the most species-rich and most taxonomically challenging genera in the family Rosaceae. The aim of this study was to investigate pollen morphology and the ranges of inter- and intraspecific variability of the studied Rubus alien species, as well as verify the taxonomic usefulness of these traits in distinguishing studied taxa from this genus. We analysed six quantitative pollen characteristics and the following qualitative ones: exine ornamentation, pollen outline and shape. The study was conducted on 24 samples of six alien Rubus species found in Poland. 720 pollen grains were measured in total. The most important pollen features included exine ornamentation and length of the polar axis (P). In the conducted studies there were no features of pollen indicating “invasiveness”. The results of our research fill the gap in knowledge on pollen structure in Rubus species alien to Poland and Europe. They may constitute a foundation for further research on the reproduction of these species (e.g. pollen viability and fertility), thus facilitating identification of features determining their expansive character.


Alice LA, Campbell CS. 1999. Phylogeny of Rubus (rosaceae) based on nuclear ribosomal DNA internal transcribed spacer region sequences. Amer. J. Bot. 86: 81–97.
Alice LA, Goldman, DH, Macklin JA, Moore G. 2014. Rubus. In: Flora of North America Editorial Committee (ed): Flora of North America north of Mexico. New York (NY): Oxford University Press.
Bennett JR, Young EJ, Giblin DE, Dunwiddie PW, Arcese P. 2011. Avian dispersal of exotic shrubs in an archipelago. Écoscience 18: 369–374.
Bocianowski J, Majchrzak L. 2019. Analysis of effects of cover crop and tillage method combinations on the phenotypic traits of spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) using multivariate methods. Appl. Ecol. Environ. Res. 17: 15267–15276.
Bróź E, Zieliński J. 1993. Rubus xanthocarpus (Rosaceae) - a new naturalized species in the flora of Poland. Fragm. Flor. et Geobot. 38: 153–157.
Bruckart WL, Michael JL, Sochor M, Trávníček B. 2017. Invasive blackberry species in Oregon: their identity and susceptibility to rust disease and the implications for biological control. Invasive Plant Sci. Manag. 10: 143–154.
Camussi A, Ottaviano E, Caliński T, Kaczmarek Z. 1985. Genetic distances based on quantitative traits. Genetics 111: 945–962.
Candau P, Romanos LG. 1987. “Rosaceae”. In Atlas polínico de Andalucía Occidental, Edited by: Valdés, B., Díez, M.J. and Fernández, I. Sevilla: Univ. Sevilla & Diput. Cádiz. Inst. Desarrollo Reg. 43: 179–184.
Clark LV, Evans KJ, Jasieniuk M. 2013. Origins and distribution of invasive Rubus fruticosus L. agg. (Rosaceae) clones in the western United States. Biological Invasions 15: 1331–1342.
DAISIE (ed.). 2009. Handbook of Alien Species in Europe, Invading Nature: Springer Series in Invasion Ecology, Springer, Dordrecht, the Netherlands.
Eide F. 1981 a. Key for Northwest European Rosaceae pollen. Grana 20: 101–118.
Eide F. 1981 b. On the pollen morphology of Rubus chamaemorus L. (Rosaceae). Grana 20: 25–27.
Erdtman G. 1952. Pollen morphology and plant taxonomy. Angiosperms. An introduction to palynology. Stockholm: Almquist and Wiksell.
Erdtman G. 1960. The acetolysis method. A revised description. Sven. Bot. Tidskr. 54: 561–564.
Erdtman G, Berglund B, Praglowski J. 1961. An Introduction to a Scandinavian Pollen Flora. Grana 2: 3–86.
Evans KJ, Weber HE. 2003. Rubus anglocandicans (Rosaceae) is the most widespread taxon of European blackberry in Australia. Aust. Syst. Bot. 16: 527–537.
Focke WO. 1877. Synopsis Ruborum Germaniae: Die deutschen Brombeerarten ausführlich beschrieben und erläutert. Bremen: Müllers’s Verlagsbuchhandlung.
Focke WO. 1894. Rosaceae. In: Engler A, Prantl K, editors. Die Natürlichen Pflanzenfamilien III. Leipzig: W. Engelmann.
Ghosh A, Saha I. 2017. Pollen morphological study of some selected Indian taxa of Rosaceae. Indian J. Applied & Pure Bio. 32: 121–130.
Gonzalez Romano ML, Candau PA. 1989. Contribution to palynological studies in the Rosaceae. Acta Bot. Malac. 14: 105–116.
Gupta C, Dash SS. 2018. A new species of Rubus (Rosaceae) from Arunachal Pradesh, India. Blumea 63: 26–30.
Halbritter H, Ulrich S, Grímsson F, Weber M, Zetter R, Hesse M, Buchner R, Svojtka M, Frosch-Radivo A. 2018. Illustrated Pollen Terminology. 2nd ed. Vienna: Springer.
Hebda RJ, Chinnappa CC.1990. Studies on pollen morphology of Rosaceae in Canada. Rev. Palaeobot. Palynol. 64: 103–108.
Hebda RJ, Chinnappa CC. 1994. Studies on pollen morphology of Rosaceae. Bot. Lett. 141: 183–193.
Henderson L. 2007. Invasive, naturalized and casual alien plants in southern Africa: a summary based on the Southern African Plant Invaders Atlas (SAPIA). Bothalia 37: 215–248.
IOP: Rubus laciniatus Willd. – Cut-leaved blackberry. 2009–2020. [accessed 2020 July 10]. www.iop.krakow.pl/ias/gatunki/149
Jennings DL. 1988. Raspberries and Blackberries. Their Breeding, Diseases and Growth. London: Academic Press.
Kasalkheh R, Jorjani E, Sabouri H, Habibi M, Sattarian A. 2017. Pollen morphology of the genus Rubus L. subgenus Rubus (Rosaceae) in Iran. Nova Bioliogica Reperta 4: 9–18.
Király G. 2018. Alien Rubus species in Hungary: Distribution, habitats and threats. Dendrobiology 80: 1-11, 2018.
Kosenko VN, Nguen TH, Jacovlev GP. 1982. Palynomorphological study of the representatives of the genus Rubus (Rosaceae) in the flora of Vietnam. Bot. Z. 69: 497–503.
Kosiński P, Maliński T, Sliwinska E, Zieliński J. 2018. Rubus prissanicus (Rosaceae), a new bramble species from North West Poland. Phytotaxa 344: 239–247.
Kurtto A, Weber HE, Lampinen R, Sennikov AN. 2010. Atlas florae Europaeae. Distribution of vascular plants in Europe, Vol. 15: Rosaceae (Rubus). Helsinki: Committee for Mapping the Flora of Europe and Societas Biologica Fennica Vanamo.
Lahuta LB, Ciak M, Rybiński W, Bocianowski J, Börner A. 2018. Diversity of the composition and content of soluble carbohydrates in seeds of the genus Vicia (Leguminosae). Genet. Resour. Crop Evol. 65: 541–554.
Lambdon PW, Pysek P, Basnou C, Hejda M, Arianoutsou M, Essl F, Jarosik V, Pergl J, Winter M, Anastasiu P, et al. 2008. Alien flora of Europe: species diversity, temporal trends, geographical patterns and research needs. Preslia 80: 101–149.
Lechowicz K, Wrońska-Pilarek D, Bocianowski J, Maliński T. 2020. Systematic importance of pollen morphological features of selected species from the genus Rubus (Rosaceae). PLoS One 15: e0221607.
Li WL, He SA, Gu Y, Shu P, Pu ZM. 2001. Pollen morphology of the genus Rubus from China. Acta Phytotax. Sin. 39: 234–247.
Mahalanobis PC. 1936. On the generalized distance in statistics. Proc. Nat. Inst. Sci. India 12: 49–55.
Monasterio-Huelin E, Pardo C. 1995. Pollen morphology and wall stratification in Rubus L. (Rosaceae) in the Iberian Peninsula. Grana 34: 229–236.
Naruhashi N, Takano H. 1980. Size variation of pollen grains in some Rubus species. J. Phytogeogr. Taxon. 28: 27–32.
Polyakova TA, Gataulina GN. 2008. Morphology and variability of pollen of the genus Spiraea L. (Rosaceae) in Siberia and the Far East. Contemp. Probl. Ecol. 1: 420–424.
Punt W, Hoen PP, Blackmore S, Nilsson S, Le Thomas A. 2007. Glossary of pollen and spore terminology. Rev. Palaeobot. Palynol. 143: 1–81.
Reitsma T. 1966. Pollen morphology of some European Rosaceae. Acta Bot. Neerl. 15: 290–307.
Rencher AC. 1992. Interpretation of canonical discriminant functions, canonical variates, and principal components. Am. Stat. 46: 217–225.
Robertson KR. 1974. The genera of Rosaceae in the southeastern United States. J. Arnold Arbor. 55: 352–360.
Seidler-Łożykowska K, Bocianowski J. 2012. Evaluation of variability of morphological traits of selected caraway (Carum carvi L.) genotypes. Ind. Crops Prod. 35: 140–145.
Seidler-Łożykowska K, Bocianowski J, Król D. 2013. The evaluation of the variability of morphological and chemical traits of the selected lemon balm (Melissa officinalis L.) genotypes. Ind. Crops Prod. 49: 515–520.
Shapiro SS, Wilk MB. 1965. An analysis of variance test for normality (complete samples). Biometrika 52: 591–611.
Teppner H. 1966. Zur Kenntnis der Gattung Waldsteinia L. - Schlüssel zum Bestimmen von Rosaceen Polleeinschliesslich ählicher Pollen - formen aus andere Familien. Phyton 3-4: 224–238.
Tokarska-Guzik B, Dajdok Z, Zajac M, Zajac A, Urbisz A, Danielewicz W, Hołdynski C. 2012. Rosliny obcego pochodzenia w Polsce ze szczególnym uwzględnieniem gatunków inwazyjnych [Alien plants in Poland with particular reference to invasive species]. Warszawa: Generalna Dyrekcja Ochrony Środowiska.
Tomlik-Wyremblewska A. 1995. Pollen morphology of genus Rubus L. Part I. Introductory studies of the European representatives of the subgenus Rubus L. Acta Soc. Bot. Pol. 64: 187–203.
Tomlik-Wyremblewska A. 2000. Pollen morphology of genus Rubus L., Part II. Introductory studies on the Malesian species of subgenus Micranthobatus. Acta Soc. Bot. Pol. 69: 31–40.
Tomlik-Wyremblewska A, Van der Ham RWJM, Kosiński P. 2004. Pollen morphology of genus Rubus L. Part III. Studies on the Malesian species of subgenera Chamaebatus L. and Idaeobatus L. Acta Soc. Bot. Pol. 73: 207–227.
Ueda Y, Tomita H. 1989. Morphometric analysis of pollen patterns in Roses. J. Japan. Soc. Hort. Sci. 58: 211–220.
Ueda Y. 1992. Pollen surface morphology in the genus Rosa, related genera. Jpn. J. Palynol. 38: 94–105.
Ueda Y, Okada Y. 1994. Discrimination of rose cultivar groups by pollen surface structure. J. Hortic. Sci. 69: 601–607.
Wang X, Tang H, Huang L, He Z, Dong X, Fu H, Deng Q. 2007. Comparative studies on pollen submicroscopic morphology of some wild species and cultivars of bramble (Rubus L.). Acta Hortic. Sinica 34: 1395–1404.
Weber HE. 1993. Zur entstehung, taxonomie und nomenklatur des Rubus laciniatus (Rosaceae). Willdenowia 23: 75–81.
Weber HE. 1996. Former and modern taxonomic treatment of the apomictic Rubus complex. Folia Geobot. Phytotax. 31: 373–380.
Weber HE. 1995. Rubus L. In: Hegi Weber G, HE (ed). Illustrierte Flora von Mitteleuropa IV/2a. 3rd edn. Berlin: Blackwell Wissenschafts-Verlag.
Weber HE. 2014. Rubus L.: Exkursionsflora für Istrien. Klagenfurt. Verlag des Naturwissenschaftlichen Vereins für Kärnten.
Wrońska-Pilarek D, Maliński T, Lira J. 2006. Pollen morphology of Polish species of genus Rubus L. - Rubus gracilis J. Presl & C Presl. Dendrobiology 56: 69–77.
Wrońska-Pilarek D, Jagodziński AM, Maliński T. 2012. Morphological studies of pollen grains of the Polish endemic species of the genus Rubus L. (Rosaceae). Biologia 67: 87–96.
Wrońska-Pilarek D, Danielewicz W, Bocianowski J, Maliński T, Janyszek M. 2016. Comparative Pollen Morphological Analysis and Its Systematic Implications on Three European Oak (Quercus L., Fagaceae) Species and Their Spontaneous Hybrids. PLoS ONE 11: e0161762.
Wrońska-Pilarek D, Szkudlarz P, Bocianowski J. 2018. Systematic importance of morphological features of pollen grains of species from Erica (Ericaceae) genus. PLoS ONE 13: e0204557.
Xiong X, Zhou X, Li M, Xul B, Dengl H, Yul Q, Gao X. 2019. Pollen morphology in Rubus (Rosaceae) and its taxonomic implications. Plant Syst Evol 305: 705–716, 2019.
Zieliński J. 1991. Rubus laciniatus i R. armeniacus (Rosaceae) we florze Polski. Fragm. Flor. Geobot. 35: 217–224.
Zieliński J. 2004. The genus Rubus (Rosaceae) in Poland. Pol. Bot. Stud. 16: 1–300.