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  • Cristina Ramos-Capón, Pablo Vargas, Fernando Pomeda-Gutiérrez, and Sara Martín-Hernanz
    J Syst Evol. 2024, 62(1): 20-37.
    The sclerophyllous syndrome is characterized by well-defined traits (evergreen coriaceous leaves, inconspicuous flowers, and fleshy fruits). It has been hypothesized that lineages displaying the sclerophyllous syndrome show lower speciation rates than non-sclerophyllous lineages after the establishment of the mediterranean climate. Daphne gnidium displays sclerophyllous traits and some differentiation into three subspecies (gnidium, mauritanica, maritima), but the spatio-temporal origin of this taxonomic group is unknown due to the lack of a time-calibrated phylogeny of the whole genus. Here, we inferred phylogenetic relationships and divergence times of Daphne (32 species, 238 samples) and other genera of Thymelaeaceae (16 genera, 38 species, 34 samples) using the internal transcribed spacer (ITS), which revealed that the current circumscription of Daphne is profoundly polyphyletic because some species are nested within the genera Wikstroemia and Edgeworthia. In contrast, D. gnidium formed a well-supported clade as recognized in taxonomic accounts (subgenus Spachia). We found morphological and phylogenetic support for Daphne mauritanica as a monophyletic lineage sister to D. gnidium. Divergence between D. gnidium and D. mauritanica appears to have predated the establishment of seasonally dry conditions, which supports a pre-mediterranean temporal origin of the lineage. A phylogeographical analysis within D. gnidium based on 66 nrDNA (ITS) and 84 cpDNA (rps16, trnV) sequences agreed with the low differentiation of the species in the Pleistocene despite its large distribution range. Altogether, D. gnidium illustrates one more example of the sclerophyllous syndrome with no speciation after the onset of the mediterranean climate.
    In this study, we provide evidence to support the historical hypothesis of a pre-Mediterranean origin (more than 2.8 million years ago), followed by low speciation in sclerophyllous lineages of the Mediterranean Floristic Region. This hypothesis is positively tested by inferring the temporal origin and phylogeography of the sclerophyllous Daphne gnidium using the most comprehensive phylogeny of the genus to date.
  • Peter H. Raven, Zhiyun Ouyang, Paul Smith, and Mathis Wackernagel
    J Syst Evol. 2023, 61(6): 949-956.
    At the XIX International Botanical Congress held in Shenzhen, China, in July 2017, the delegates unanimously adopted the Shenzhen Declaration on Plant Sciences in an effort to accelerate the contributions made by plant scientists for the benefit of the world′s changing society. This paper discusses what has been accomplished concerning plant conservation since the Shenzhen Declaration. Beyond the problems we faced in 2017, the global Covid pandemic and the war have presented new challenges. With the massive ecological overshoot, the number of malnourished people globally has increased. Most threats to vascular plants have increased generally over these 6 years, while the responses of the botanical community to them have continued to proceed at a relatively slow pace. Although international cooperation is needed to combat the grave challenges we face, the ease of such collaboration has decreased substantially in recent years. Certainly, rapid deforestation, especially in the tropics, and our ineffective approaches to mitigate climate change will lessen the effectiveness of our strategies to slow extinction. Indeed, our blindness to the reality of ecological overshoot and misperceptions concerning sustainability are accelerating extinction and thus destabilizing social structures and civilization. As an example, conservation in China faces serious challenges with biodiversity loss, but botanical gardens and seed banks there offer hope on ex situ conservation. The botanical and other scientific communities can contribute by drawing the attention of fellow citizens to the gravity of the problems that we face and by being actively engaged in providing solutions and carrying them forward to action.
    This paper discusses progress in plant conservation since the 2017 Shenzhen Declaration on Plant Sciences. Amplified by the challenges of the global pandemic and ongoing conflicts, threats to plant species have increased, with persistent ecological overshoot exacerbating the pressure (see Figure). The response from the botanical community has been slow as collaboration has become more difficult. The symptoms of overshoot, including ineffective climate change mitigation and deforestation, especially in the tropics, undermine extinction prevention efforts. Biodiversity loss affects all, including China, but botanical gardens and seed banks offer hope. Without addressing the underlying causes, threats will keep escalating.
  • Peng-Juan Zu, Reinaldo García-García, Meredith C. Schuman, Serguei Saavedra, and Carlos J. Melián
    J Syst Evol. 2023, 61(3): 445-453.
    Cross-species communication, where signals are sent by one species and perceived by others, is one of the most intriguing types of communication that functionally links different species to form complex ecological networks. Global change and human activity can affect communication by increasing fluctuations in species composition and phenology, altering signal profiles and intensity, and introducing noise. So far, most studies on cross-species communication have focused on a few specific species isolated from ecological communities. Scaling up investigations of cross-species communication to the community level is currently hampered by a lack of conceptual and practical methodologies. Here, we propose an interdisciplinary framework based on information theory to investigate mechanisms shaping cross-species communication at the community level. We use plants and insects, the cornerstones of most ecosystems, as a showcase and focus on chemical communication as the key communication channel. We first introduce some basic concepts of information theory, then we illustrate information patterns in plant-insect chemical communication, followed by a further exploration of how to integrate information theory into ecological and evolutionary processes to form testable mechanistic hypotheses. We conclude by highlighting the importance of community-level information as a means to better understand the maintenance and workings of ecological systems, especially during rapid global change.
  • Orlando Schwery, Breanna N. Sipley, Mariana P. Braga, Yan Yang, Roberto Rebollo, and Pengjuan Zu
    J Syst Evol. 2023, 61(3): 465-486.
    The astonishing diversity of plants and insects and their entangled interactions are cornerstones in terrestrial ecosystems. Co-occurring with species diversity is the diversity of plant secondary metabolites (PSMs). So far, their estimated number is more than 200 000 compounds, which are not directly involved in plant growth and development but play important roles in helping plants handle their environment including the mediation of plant-insect interactions. Here, we use plant volatile organic compounds (VOCs), a key olfactory communication channel that mediates plant-insect interactions, as a showcase of PSMs. In spite of the cumulative knowledge of the functional, ecological, and microevolutionary roles of VOCs, we still lack a macroevolutionary understanding of how they evolved with plant-insect interactions and contributed to species diversity throughout the long coevolutionary history of plants and insects. We first review the literature to summarize the current state-of-the-art research on this topic. We then present various relevant types of phylogenetic methods suitable to answer macroevolutionary questions on plant VOCs and suggest future directions for employing phylogenetic approaches in studying plant VOCs and plant-insect interactions. Overall, we found that current studies in this field are still very limited in their macroevolutionary perspective. Nevertheless, with the fast-growing development of metabolome analysis techniques and phylogenetic methods, it is becoming increasingly feasible to integrate the advances of these two areas. We highlight promising approaches to generate new testable hypotheses and gain a mechanistic understanding of the macroevolutionary roles of chemical communication in plant-insect interactions.
  • Yang Xu, Lei Xu, and Hong He
    J Syst Evol. 2023, 61(3): 506-517.
    Plants, insects, and fungi have successfully colonized almost all terrestrial ecosystems, and their interactions have been the subject of numerous studies in recent decades. Plant-associated fungi include endophytic, arbuscular mycorrhizal, ambrosia, saprotrophic, pathogenic, and floral fungi. These fungi interact with insects through various mechanisms, including the modification of plant nutritional quality and degradation of plant defensive allelochemicals that are toxic to insects. Additionally, certain fungi assist plants in defending against insect attacks. Correspondingly, insects have evolved sophisticated nervous, digestive, and muscular systems that assist them in recognizing, preying on, and dispersing plant-associated fungi; these organ systems allow insects to detect and respond to various chemical signatures in the environment. Insects can be nourished, attracted, repelled, poisoned, and killed by chemical molecules produced by plant-associated fungi, which could be beneficial or detrimental to plants. This review summarizes the functions of different chemicals from the perspective of plant-fungus-insect interactions and discusses the challenges and future perspectives in this chemical ecology research field.
    Schematic classification of chemical-related strategies used by plant-associated fungi to interact with insects.
  • Else Demeulenaere and Stefanie M. Ickert-Bond
    J Syst Evol. 2022, 60(5): 973-997.

    Micronesian islands taxa show high endemism rates, but very little is known about their biogeographical histories. The lack of systematic biogeography is mainly due to insufficient phylogenetic research in Micronesia. With the recent increase in published molecular biogeographic data, we were able to, for the first time, answer fundamental biogeography questions by reviewing and analyzing numerous geological, ecological, and evolutionary studies. This review, in addition to providing an overview of Micronesian geological history, confirmed the importance of long-distance dispersal mechanisms and founder-event speciation, and morphological and physiological adaptations of plant propagules to cross vast stretches of ocean by wind, ocean currents, bird, or bat dispersal. These adaptations to habitat and geological features, including reef types, determined colonization success as well as inland dispersal and speciation mechanisms. We further identified the source areas of the Micronesian biota and reconstructed historical dispersal scenarios: a dominant Austro-Melanesian dispersal scenario, an Indo-Malaysian connecting to the Austro-Melanesian dispersal scenario, and a Neotropical American and an African dispersal scenario toward Micronesia. Most generic origins were estimated between the Eocene and the Miocene and dispersed to Micronesia between the Miocene and the Pleistocene.

  • Zhi-Qiang Wu, Xue-Zhu Liao, Xiao-Ni Zhang, Luke R. Tembrock, and Amanda Broz
    J Syst Evol. 2022, 60(1): 160-168.
    Web of science(23)
    Since the endosymbiont origin from α-Proteobacteria, mitochondrial genomes have undergone extremely divergent evolutionary trajectories among eukaryotic lineages. Compared with the relatively compact and conserved animal mitochondrial genomes, plant mitochondrial genomes have many unique features, especially their large and complex genomic arrangements. The sizes of fully sequenced plant mitochondrial genomes span over a 100-fold range from 66 kb in Viscum scurruloideum to 11 000 kb in Silene conica. In addition to the typical circular structure, some species of plants also possess linear, and even multichromosomal, architectures. In contrast with the thousands of fully sequenced animal mitochondrial genomes and plant plastid genomes, only around 200 fully sequenced land plant mitochondrial genomes have been published, with many being only draft assemblies. In this review, we summarize some of the known novel characteristics found in plant mitochondrial genomes, with special emphasis on multichromosomal structures described in recent publications. Finally, we discuss the future prospects for studying the inheritance patterns of multichromosomal plant mitochondria and examining architectural variation at different levels of taxonomic organization—including at the population level.
    A simplified schematic diagram from an insect (A) and plant species (B) with multichromosomal mt genomes.
  • Tod F. Stuessy
    J Syst Evol. 2020, 58(6): 751-766.

    Oceanic islands and archipelagos are natural laboratories for investigating patterns and processes of evolution. Islands change with the course of time, resulting in a dynamic ontogeny over millions of years. The combined forces of tectonic plate subsidence and erosion from waves, wind, and rainwater bring about substantial geomorphological change over millions of years, until islands eventually disappear under the sea. Added to these long‐term natural changes to the environment of the islands are the changes caused by human activities in recent centuries. After humans reach a previously unpopulated island, they utilize the natural resources for their own survival, cutting forests for making houses, boats, and firewood. The size of the human population and the length of time on the island determine the degree of environmental impact. Evolutionary processes in plants of oceanic islands take place during ontogeny of the islands, resulting in population divergence, speciation, and hybridization. Due to the dramatic alterations suffered by many islands over millions of years, the present patterns of distribution and ecology of species within endemic groups may have little to do with the patterns when the species originated. Understanding these environmental changes is fundamental to infer a founder effect, reasons for levels of genetic variation within and among populations, and modes of speciation. Special caution must be exercised while making comparisons between groups located on islands of different geological ages and that have endured differing environmental modifications from humans. Examples are provided from the Juan Fernández Archipelago and Lord Howe Island.

  • Jill T. Anderson and Bao-Hua Song
    J Syst Evol. 2020, 58(5): 533-545.
    Web of science(32)

    Climate change poses critical challenges for population persistence in natural communities, for agriculture and environmental sustainability, and for food security. In this review, we discuss recent progress in climatic adaptation in plants. We evaluate whether climate change exerts novel selection and disrupts local adaptation, whether gene flow can facilitate adaptive responses to climate change, and whether adaptive phenotypic plasticity could sustain populations in the short term. Furthermore, we discuss how climate change influences species interactions. Through a more in‐depth understanding of these eco‐evolutionary dynamics, we will increase our capacity to predict the adaptive potential of plants under climate change. In addition, we review studies that dissect the genetic basis of plant adaptation to climate change. Finally, we highlight key research gaps, ranging from validating gene function to elucidating molecular mechanisms, expanding research systems from model species to other natural species, testing the fitness consequences of alleles in natural environments, and designing multifactorial studies that more closely reflect the complex and interactive effects of multiple climate change factors. By leveraging interdisciplinary tools (e.g., cutting‐edge omics toolkits, novel ecological strategies, newly developed genome editing technology), researchers can more accurately predict the probability that species can persist through this rapid and intense period of environmental change, as well as cultivate crops to withstand climate change, and conserve biodiversity in natural systems.

  • De-Yuan Hong
    J Syst Evol. 2020, 58(5): 725-742.

    The present article briefly reviewed the prevailing species concepts, especially biological, genetic, evolutionary, phylogenetic, ecological, and several taxonomic species concepts. The former five reflect the properties of species from diverse aspects and in different degrees, while taxonomic species concepts all contain more or less subjective elements, except for Hedberg's taxonomic method (not species concept). So far, there is no species concept that is both theoretically rational and practically operable. The present article outlined recent studies on the genus Paeonia L. (Paeoniaceae) in biology, particularly in morphology, biogeography, molecular phylogeny, and reproductive behavior, which provided insight into the relationship between variation of morphological characteristics and phylogeny. Taking the study on Paeonia L. as a case, referring to studies on some other plant groups, and incorporating the merits of the prevailing species concepts into our consideration, “gen‐morph species concept” is proposed here formally as new for outbreeding organisms. The new species concept has three special features: (i) a bridge linking morphological aspect with genetic and other aspects of species; (ii) proposal of a concrete morphological criterion for species definition, and (iii) considering quantitative and qualitative characteristics as equally valuable for species definition and introducing statistics into the concept to handle such characteristics. Therefore, the gen‐morph species concept is an integrative species concept, both theoretically objective and practically operable.

  • Richard M. K. Saunders
    J Syst Evol. 2020, 58(4): 369-392.

    Potential key functional floral traits are assessed in the species‐rich early divergent angiosperm family Annonaceae. Pollinators (generally beetles) are attracted by various cues (particularly visual, olfactory, and thermogenic), with pollinators rewarded by nectar (generally as stigmatic exudate), heat, and protection within the partially enclosed floral chamber. Petals sometimes function as pollinator brood sites, although this could be deceptive. Annonaceae species are self‐compatible, with outcrossing promoted by a combination of protogyny, herkogamy, floral synchrony, and dicliny. Pollination efficiency is enhanced by pollen aggregation, changes in anthesis duration, and pollinator trapping involving a close alignment between petal movements and the circadian rhythms of pollinators. Most Annonaceae flowers are apocarpous, with syncarpy restricted to very few lineages; fertilization is therefore optimized by intercarpellary growth of pollen tubes, either by stigmatic exudate (suprastylar extragynoecial compitum) or possibly the floral receptacle (infrastylar extragynoecial compitum). Although Annonaceae lack a distinct style, the stigmas in several lineages are elongated to form “pseudostyles” that are hypothesized to function as sites for pollen competition. Flowers can be regarded as immature fruits in which the ovules are yet to be fertilized, with floral traits that may have little selective advantage during anthesis theoretically promoting fruit and seed dispersal. The plesiomorphic apocarpous trait may have been perpetuated in Annonaceae flowers as it promotes the independent dispersal of fruit monocarps (derived from separate carpels), thereby maximizing the spatial/temporal distance between seedlings. This might compensate for the lack of genetic diversity among seeds within fruits arising from the limited diversity of pollen donors.

  • Jonathan P. Price and Warren L. Wagner
    J Syst Evol. 2018, 56(6): 600-620.
    Web of science(22)
    Botanists have long considered the origins of the Hawaiian flora in terms of long‐distance dispersal from particular source areas. We extensively reviewed phylogenetic studies of the Hawaiian angiosperm flora to determine the most likely region of origin for each lineage from a defined set of source areas. We also evaluated dispersal modes of each lineage to assess whether certain dispersal modes are associated with a given source area. The largest source category was Widespread (involving related taxa that extend across more than one region), although many of these comprised native non‐endemic species, and accounted for little of the total species diversity (after accounting for in situ speciation). The next largest source regions were Indo‐Malayan and Neotropical. Comparatively few lineages originated from the East Asian region, although these include the single largest lineage. Lineages originating in the Indo‐Malayan region predominantly arrived via Pacific Islands, whereas dispersal from all other regions appears to have been mostly direct. Compared with previous analyses, we found a higher proportion of lineages originating in the Neotropics and temperate North America. Widespread origins were positively associated with dispersal via flotation on water, whereas other origins were associated with dispersal by birds, either through internal transport or external adhesion. We identified thirty‐one potential cases of dispersal out of Hawaii to other islands. Our assessment is complicated by lineages with ancient origins, with further complications likely stemming from hybridization events. Overall, numerous lineages including some distinctive endemic genera have not had sufficient phylogenetic study to determine an origin.
  • Jun Wen, Li-Min Lu, Ze-Long Nie, Xiu-Qun Liu, Ning Zhang, Stefanie Ickert-Bond, Jean Gerrath, Steven R. Manchester, John Boggan, Zhi-Duan Chen
    J Syst Evol. 2018, 56(4): 262-272.
    Web of science(19)

    Vitaceae (the grape family) consist of 16 genera and ca. 950 species primarily distributed in tropical regions. The family is well‐known for the economic importance of grapes, and is also ecologically significant with many species as dominant climbers in tropical and temperate forests. Recent phylogenetic and phylogenomic analyses of sequence data from all three genomes have supported five major clades within Vitaceae: (i) the clade of Ampelopsis, Nekemias, Rhoicissus, and Clematicissus; (ii) the Cissus clade; (iii) the clade of Cayratia, Causonis, Cyphostemma, Pseudocayratia, Tetrastigma, and an undescribed genus “Afrocayratia”; (iv) the clade of Parthenocissus and Yua; and (v) the grape genus Vitis and its close tropical relatives Ampelocissus, Pterisanthes and Nothocissus, with Nothocissus and Pterisanthes nested within Ampelocissus. Based on the phylogenetic and morphological (mostly inflorescence, floral and seed characters) evidence, the new classification places the 950 species and 16 genera into five tribes: (i) tribe Ampelopsideae J.Wen & Z.L.Nie, trib. nov. (47 species in four genera; Ampelopsis, Nekemias, Rhoicissus and Clematicissus); (ii) tribe Cisseae Rchb. (300 species in one genus; Cissus); (iii) tribe Cayratieae J.Wen & L.M.Lu, trib. nov. (370 species in seven genera; Cayratia, Causonis, “Afrocayratia”, Pseudocayratia, Acareosperma, Cyphostemma and Tetrastigma); (iv) tribe Parthenocisseae J.Wen & Z.D.Chen, trib. nov. (ca. 16 spp. in two genera; Parthenocissus and Yua); and (v) tribe Viteae Dumort. (ca. 190 species in two genera; Ampelocissus and Vitis).

  • Vicki A. Funk
    J Syst Evol. 2018, 56(3): 175-193.
    Web of science(36)

    Discoveries from collections‐based science change the way we perceive ourselves, our environment, and our place in the universe. The 18th Century saw the beginning of formal classification with Linnaeus proposing a system to classify all of life. The 19th Century ushered in the age of exploration as naturalists undertook large‐scale collecting expeditions leading to major scientific advances (the founding of Physical Geography, Meteorology, Ecology, Biogeography, and Evolution) and challenging long held beliefs about nature. In the 20th Century collections were central to paradigm shifts, including theories of Continental Drift and Phylogenetic Systematics; Molecular Phylogenetics added testable hypotheses, and computerized specimen records gave rise to the field of Biodiversity. In the first 15 years of the 21st Century we have seen tree‐thinking pervade the life sciences, leading to the emergence of Evolutionary Medicine, Evolutionary Ecology, and new Food Safety methods. More advances are on the way: (i) Open access to large amounts of specimen data & images, (ii) Linking of collections and climate data to phylogenies on a global scale, and (iii) Production of vast quantities of genomic data allowing us to address big evolutionary questions. As a result of collections‐based science people see themselves not as the center of all things but rather as part of a complex universe. It is essential that we integrate new discoveries with knowledge from the past (e.g., collections) in order to understand this planet we all inhabit. To ensure the health of collections‐based science we must come together and plan for the future.

  • Nizar Y. Saad
    J Syst Evol. 2018, 56(1): 1-13.
    Web of science(11)
    The structural flexibility of RNA and its ability to store genetic information has led scientists to postulate that RNA could be the key molecule for the development of life on Earth, further leading to formulate the RNA world hypothesis that received a lot of success and acceptance after the discoveries of the last thirty-five years. Despite its highly structural and functional significance, the difficulty in synthesizing the four nucleobases that form the RNA polymer from the same primordial soup, its low stability, and limited catalytic repertoire, make the RNA world hypothesis less convincing even though it remains the best explanation for the origin of life. An increasing number of scientists are becoming more supportive of a more realistic approach explaining the appearance of life. In this review, I propose an enhanced explanation for the appearance of life supported by recent discoveries and theories. Accordingly, amino acids and peptides associated with RNA (e.g., ribonucleopeptides) might have existed at the onset of RNA and might have played an important role in the continuous development of self-sustaining biological systems. Therefore, in this review, I cover the most recent and relevant scientific investigations that propose a better understanding of the ribonucleopeptide world hypothesis and the appearance of life. Finally, I propose two hypotheses for a primitive translation machinery (PTM) that might have been formed of either a T box ribozyme or a ribopolymerase.
  • Mark P. Simmons
    J Syst Evol. 2017, 55(2): 85-109.
    Both traditional as well as 10 more recent methods of coding characters from exons of protein-coding genes are reviewed. The more recent methods collectively blur the distinction between nucleotide and amino-acid coding and enable investigators to carefully quantify the effects of different sources of phylogenetic signal as well as their potential biases. Codon models, which explicitly model silent and replacement substitutions, are a major advance and are expected to be broadly useful for simultaneously inferring recent and ancient divergences, unlike amino-acid coding. Degeneracy coding, wherein ambiguity codes are used to eliminate silent substitutions at the individual-nucleotide level, has clear advantages over scoring amino-acid characters. Nucleotide, codon, and amino-acid models are now directly comparable with easy-to-use programs, and widely used phylogenetics programs can analyze partitioned supermatrices that incorporate all three types of model. Therefore, it should become standard practice to test among these alternative model types before conducting parametric phylogenetic analyses. An earlier study of 78 protein-coding genes from 360 green-plant plastid genomes is used as an empirical example with which to quantify the relative performance of alternative character-coding methods using five quantification measures. Codon models were selected as having the best fit to the data, yet were outperformed by nucleotide models for all five quantification measures. Third-codon positions were found to be an important source of phylogenetic signal and even outperformed analyses of first and second positions for some measures. Degeneracy coding generally performed at least as well as amino-acid coding and is an arguably more effective alternative.
  • Daniel J. Crawford, Jenny K. Archibald
    J Syst Evol. 2017, 55(1): 1-15.
    Oceanic islands have long been called natural laboratories for studying evolution because they are geologically young, isolated, dynamic areas with diverse habitats over small spatial scales. Volcanic substrates of different ages permit the study of different stages of divergence and speciation within plant lineages. In addition to divergence, the dynamic island setting is conducive to hybridization. Discussion will focus on the potential of systematic/ecological studies, in combination with genomic data from high throughput sequencing and an ever-increasing array of analytical techniques, for studying evolution in island plants. These studies may include: generation of highly resolved phylogenies to clarify the biogeography of speciation and whether divergence has occurred with or without gene flow; identification of the barriers to gene flow (extrinsic vs. intrinsic) of importance during divergence; documentation of historical and current hybridization events within island lineages; and elucidation of the genomic composition and ecology of hybrid populations in order to infer the evolutionary consequences of hybridization, such as the origin of stabilized homoploid hybrid species.
  • Jun Wen, Ze-Long Nie, Stefanie M. Ickert-Bond
    J Syst Evol. 2016, 54(5): 469-490.
    This review shows a close biogeographic connection between eastern Asia and western North America from the late Cretaceous to the late Neogene in major lineages of vascular plants (flowering plants, gymnosperms, ferns and lycophytes). Of the eastern Asian–North American disjuncts, conifers exhibit a high proportion of disjuncts between eastern Asia and western North America. Several lineages of ferns also show a recent disjunct pattern in the two areas. In flowering plants, the pattern is commonly shown in temperate elements between northeastern Asia and northwestern North America, as well as elements of the relict boreotropical and Neogene mesophytic and coniferous floras. The many cases of intercontinental biogeographic disjunctions between eastern Asia and western North America in plants supported by recent phylogenetic analyses highlight the importance of the Bering land bridge and/or the plant migrations across the Beringian region from the late Cretaceous to the late Neogene, especially during the Miocene. The Beringian region has permitted the filtering and migration of certain plant taxa since the Pliocene after the opening of the Bering Strait, as many conspecific taxa or closely related species occur on both sides of Beringia.
  • David M. Spooner
    J Syst Evol. 2016, 54(3): 191-203.
    Solanum section Petota has been the subject of intensive taxonomic work since the description of the cultivated potato in 1753. In total, there are 494 epithets for wild taxa and 626 epithets for cultivated taxa. Different taxonomists applied various taxonomic philosophies and species concepts to the section. Hypotheses of the number of species and their interrelationships have differed greatly among authors. A taxonomic treatment of section Petota by Jack Hawkes in 1990 recognized 228 wild species and seven cultivated species, divided into 21 taxonomic series. In 2014 Spooner and collaborators more than halved this number to 107 wild species and four cultivated species, partitioned into four clades; not using series. The purpose of this paper is to provide a retrospective of the methods and philosophies that have resulted in this drastic decrease in the number of species and their infrasectional classification.
  • Darya Khan, AJ Harris, Qamar U. Zaman, Hong-Xin Wang, Jun Wen, Jacob B. Landis, and Hua-Feng Wang
    Online available: 2024-01-25
    The angiosperm family Cactaceae, a member of the Caryophyllales, is a large and diverse group of stem succulents comprising 1438-1870 species within approximately 130 genera predominantly distributed from northern Canada to Patagonia. Four centers of diversity from Central and North America (Chihuahua, Puebla- Oaxaca, Sonora-Sinaloan, and Jalisco) and three centers of diversity from South America (Southern Central Andes, Caatinga, and Mara Atlantica) have played a pivotal role in disbursing cacti around the globe. Mexico is considered the richest area in cacti species with close to 563 species grouped into 50 genera. Approximately 118 species have been domesticated by Mesoamerican people as food crops and for ornamental purposes. Cacti inhabit a wide range of ecosystems and climate regions, ranging from tropical to subtropical and from arid to semiarid regions. Species belonging to the genus Opuntia are the major food crop producers in the family. Cacti have derived characteristics from familial synapomorphies within the Caryophyllales. Reproduction occurs through pollination facilitated by birds, bats, bees, and other insects. Climate variability, whether natural or human-induced threatens global crop production including high temperatures, salinity, drought, flood, changes in soil pH, and urbanization. Cacti have several adaptations that are important for coping with abiotic stresses, such as crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM photosynthesis), as well as modifications to root and stem physiological pathways. This review aims to provide a comprehensive view of the fruit crops in Cactaceae, including their evolution, worldwide distribution, and the environmental factors impacting cultivation.
  • Darya Khan, AJ Harris, Qamar U Zaman, Hong-Xin Wang, Jun Wen, Jacob B Landis, Hua-Feng Wang
    J Syst Evol.
    Accepted: 2023-11-24
    The angiosperm family Cactaceae, a member of the Caryophyllales, is a large and diverse group of stem succulents comprising 1438 to 1870 species within approximately 130 genera predominantly distributed from northern Canada to Patagonia. Four centers of diversity from Central and North America (Chihuahua, Puebla-Oaxaca, Sonora-Sinaloan and Jalisco) and three centers of diversity from South America (Southern central Andes, Caatinga and Mara Atlantica) have played a pivotal role in disbursing cacti around the globe. Mexico is considered the richest area in cacti species with close to 563 species grouped into 50 genera. Approximately 118 species have been domesticated by Mesoamerican people as food crops and for ornamental purposes. Cacti inhabit a wide range of ecosystems and climate regions, ranging from tropical to subtropical and from arid to semiarid regions. Species belonging to the genus Opuntia are the major food crop producers in the family. Cacti have derived characteristics from familial synapomorphies within the Caryophyllales. Reproduction occurs through pollination facilitated by birds, bats, bees and other insects. Climate variability, whether natural or human induced, threaten global crop production including high temperatures, salinity, drought, flood, changes in soil pH and urbanization. Cacti have several adaptations that are important for coping with abiotic stresses, such as crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM photosynthesis), as well as modifications to root and stem physiological pathways. This review aims to provide a comprehensive view of the fruit crops in Cactaceae, including the evolution, worldwide distribution, and the environmental factors impacting cultivation.