Table of Contents
  • Volume 54 Issue 1

    Cover illustration: Morphological diversity in the Gnetales. Top left: Ephedra distachya subsp. helvetica showing twisted micropylar tube and red fleshy bracts of female cone in Embrun, Hautes Alpes, France (photo by Elke Zippel). Top right: Welwitschia mirabilis pollination droplets at micropylar tubes in female cone, cultivated (photo by Stefan Little). Bottom left: Gnetum gnemon bisexual cone with sterile ovules with pollination droplet above staminate reproductive units, cultivated (p [Detail] ...
      
    Reviews
    Stefanie M. Ickert-Bond, Susanne S. Renner
    2016, 54 (1): 1-16.
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    Ephedra, Gnetum, and Welwitschia constitute the gymnosperm order Gnetales of still unclear phylogenetic relationships within seed plants. Here we review progress over the past 10 years in our understanding of their species diversity, morphology, reproductive biology, chromosome numbers, and genome sizes, highlighting the unevenness in the sampling of species even for traits that can be studied in preserved material, such as pollen morphology. We include distribution maps and original illustrations of key features, and specify which species groups or geographic areas are undersampled.
    Weronika B. Żukowska, Witold Wachowiak
    2016, 54 (1): 17-28.
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    Studies of adaptation and speciation have greatly benefited from rapid progress of DNA sequencing and genotyping technologies. Comparative genomics of closely related taxa has great potential to advance evolutionary research on genetic architecture of adaptive traits and reproductive isolation. Such studies that utilized closely related plant species and ecotypes have already provided some important insights into genomic regions and/or genes that are potentially involved in local adaptation and speciation. The choice of an appropriate species model for such research is crucial. The paper discusses current approaches used to reveal the patterns of intra- and interspecific divergence due to natural selection. Its outcomes in herbaceous plants and forest trees are briefly summarized and compared to reveal general regularities concerning evolutionary processes. We then highlight the importance of multispecies studies and discuss the utility of several related pine taxa as fine candidates for evolutionary inferences. Genetically similar but ecologically and phenotypically diverged taxa seem a promising study system to search for genomic patterns of speciation and adaptive variation.
    Research Articles
    Hong Qian, Jian Zhang
    2016, 54 (1): 29-36.
    Ecologists frequently use a supertree method to generate phylogenies in ecological studies. However, the robustness of research results based on phylogenies generated with a supertree method has not been well evaluated. Here, we use the angiosperm tree flora of North America as a model system to test the robustness of phylogenies generated with a supertree method for studies on the relationship between phylogenetic properties and environment, by comparing the relationship between phylogenetic metrics and environmental variables derived from a phylogeny reconstructed with a supertree method to that derived from a phylogeny resolved at species level. North America was divided into equal area quadrats of 12 100 km2. Nine indices of phylogenetic structure were calculated for angiosperm tree assemblages in each quadrat using two phylogenies resolved at different levels (one resolved at the family level and the other resolved at the species level). Scores of phylogenetic indices were related to two major climatic variables (temperature and precipitation) using correlation and regression analyses. Scores of phylogenetic indices resulting from the two phylogenies are perfectly or nearly perfectly correlated. On average, there is no difference in the variation explained by the two climatic variables between scores of phylogenetic indices derived from the two phylogenies. Our study suggests that a phylogeny derived from a well resolved family-level supertree as backbone with genera and species attached to the backbone as polytomies is robust for studies investigating the relationship between phylogenetic structure and environment in biological assemblages at a broad spatial scale.
    Li-E Yang, Hang Sun, Friedrich Ehrendorfer, Ze-Long Nie
    2016, 54 (1): 37-47.
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    Rubia L. is the type genus of the coffee family Rubiaceae and the third largest genus in the tribe Rubieae, comprising ca. 80 species restricted to the Old World. China is an important diversity center for Rubia, where approximately half of its species occur. However, its internal phylogenetic relationships are still poorly understood. The objective of the present study is to contribute to the phylogenetic relationships within Rubia, using the nuclear internal transcribed spacer and six plastid markers and focusing on species from China. Twenty-seven species of Rubia were sampled to infer their phylogeny using Maximum parsimony, Maximum likelihood, and Bayesian analyses. The monophyly of Rubia is supported, provided that R. rezniczenkoana Litv. is excluded from Rubia and transferred to Galium as a new combination: G. rezniczenkoanum (Litv.) L. E Yang & Z. L. Nie. Within Rubia, two clades are clearly supported. They correspond to the traditional sect. Rubias.l. (A) and sect. Oligoneura Pojark. (B), and are morphologically mainly separable by their pinnate (A) versus palmate (B) leaf venation. Plesiomorphic features are the pinnate leaf veining in sect. Rubia s.l. and the occurrence of some species with opposite leaves and true stipules in sect. Oligoneura. In sect. Oligoneura one can assume an evolution from species with opposite leaves and true stipules (as in the R. siamensis Craib group) to those with whorls of two leaves and two leaf-like stipules (as in ser. Chinenses and the R. mandersii Collett & Hemsl. group) and finally with whorls of 6 or even more elements (as in ser. Cordifoliae). The correlation between clades recognized by DNA analyses and available differential morphological features is partly only loose, particularly in the group of R. cordifolia with 2×, 4×, and 6× cytotypes. This may be due to rapid evolutionary divergence and/or hybridization and allopolyploidy.
    Yuan Xu, Chi-Ming Hu, Gang Hao
    2016, 54 (1): 48-64.
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    A close relationship between Androsace and related genera (Douglasia, Vitaliana, and Pomatosace) has long been recognized. Recent molecular studies have provided abundant evidence that Douglasia, Vitaliana, and Pomatosace are nested within Androsace and together constitute the monophyletic “Androsace group”. We investigated the pollen morphology of 80 taxa representing all sections of Androsace s.s. as traditionally construed, as well as Douglasia, Vitaliana, and Pomatosace,to see whether they are congruent with phylogenetic relationships. We uncovered subtle variation in pollen morphology within the group. The shape of pollen grains ranges from spheroidal to perprolate. Pollen size ranges from 9.37 µm in Androsace sect. Samuelia to 20.68 µm in Douglasia. Exine ornamentation includes microreticulate, microechinate, perforate, and rugulate types. The polar view varies from circular, triangular and planaperturate, to triangular and angulaperturate. Various pollen morphological characters support the monophyly of major clades, including /Septentrionalis, /Pomatosace, /Orthocaulon, and /Megista, which were recognized previously based on molecular evidence.
    Daniel Vitales, Alfredo García-Fernández, Teresa Garnatje, Jaume Pellicer, Joan Vallès
    2016, 54 (1): 65-74.
    The southwestern Iberian Peninsula is an important biogeographic region, showing high biodiversity levels and hosting several putative glacial refugia for European flora. Here, we study the genetic diversity and structure of the Mediterranean, thermophilous plant Cheirolophus sempervirens (Asteraceae) across its whole distribution range in SW Iberia, as a tool to disentangle some of the general biogeographic patterns shaping this southern refugia hotspot. Null genetic diversity was observed in the cpDNA sequencing screening. Nonetheless, AFLP data revealed high levels of among-population genetic differentiation correlated to their geographic location. Our results suggest longer species persistence in southern Iberian refugia during glacial periods and subsequent founder effects northwards due to colonizations in warmer stages (i.e., the southern richness to northern purity pattern). Additionally, our phylogeographic analyses indicate the presence of two separate genetic lineages within Ch. sempervirens, supporting the hypothesis of multiple minor refugia for SW Iberia in agreement with the refugia within refugia model.
    Manoj M. Lekhak, Siddharthan Surveswaran, Shrirang R. Yadav
    2016, 54 (1): 75-82.
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    The tribe Iphigenieae (Colchicaceace, Liliales) includes two genera, viz. Camptorrhiza and Iphigenia, which are distributed in Africa, India, and Australasia. Iphigeniais represented by 12 species, of which six occur in India while Camptorrhiza comprises one species each in Africa (C. strumosa) and India (C. indica). The genusCamptorrhiza possesses a knee-shaped tuber attached to the corms, filaments with a thick bulge in the middle and styles with single stigma. Iphigenia on the other hand lacks knee-shaped tuber, bears linear filaments and has styles with three stigmas. Camptorrhiza indica possesses ovoid corms, linear filaments and styles with a single stigma. These characters are intermediate between Iphigenia and Camptorrhiza and hence we studied the cytogenetics and phylogenetic placement of this species to ascertain its generic identity. Somatic chromosome count (2n = 22) and karyotypic features of C. indica are very similar to that of Iphigenia species. Molecular phylogenetic studies based on atpB-rbcL, rps16, trnL, and trnL-F regions showed that C. indica is nested within a lineage of Indian Iphigenia species. Thus, C. indica was reduced to a species of Iphigenia, i.e., I. ratnagirica. Camptorrhiza is now a monotypic genus restricted only to southern Africa. A key to the IndianIphigenia species is provided. In addition, a new combination Wurmbea novae-zelandiae is proposed for Iphigenia novae-zelandiae.
    Wei Gong, Ying Liu, Jing Chen, Yu Hong, Hang-Hui Kong
    2016, 54 (1): 83-91.
    DNA barcodes have proved to be efficient for plants species discrimination and identification using short and standardized genomic regions. The genus Sinosenecio(Asteraceae) is used for traditional medicinal purposes in China. Most species of the genus occur in restricted geographical regions and exhibit a wide range of morphological variations within species, making them difficult to differentiate in the field. Previously, taxonomic revisions have been made based on morphological and cytological evidence. In the present study, barcoding analysis was performed on 107 individuals representing 38 species in this genus to evaluate the performance of four candidate barcoding loci (matK, rbcL, trnH-psbA and internal transcribed spacer [ITS]) and detect geographical patterns. Three different methods based on genetic distance, sequence similarity, and the phylogenetic tree were used. Comparably high species discrimination power was detected in species-level taxonomic process by the ITS dataset alone or combined with other loci, which was suggested to be the most suitable barcode for Sinosenecio. Our results are congruent with previous taxonomic studies concerning the monophyly of the S. oldhamianus group. The present study provides an empirical paradigm for the identification of medicinal plant species and their geographical patterns, ascertaining the congruence between taxonomical studies and barcoding analysis inSinosenecio.
Editors-in-Chief
Song Ge
Jun Wen
Impact Factor
2.779
JCR 2019 IF ranking: 56/234 (Plant Sciences, top 23.72%, Q1 quartile)
Journal Abbreviation: J Syst Evol
ISSN: 1674-4918 (Print)
1759-6831 (Online)
CN: 11-5779/Q
Frequency: Bi-monthly

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