Table of Contents
  • Volume 57 Issue 5

    Cover illustration: The Miscanthus species are well known biomass source for renewable energy production. Investigations on the genetic structure and relationships of 100 populations of all four Miscanthus species in China not only provide important insights into the population genetics and evolution history of the Chinese Miscanthus species, but also is of great signifi cance for accurate classifi cation and management of these genetic resources. See Li et al., pp. 530–542 in this i [Detail] ...
      Research Articles
    • Shu-Li Wang, Lang Li, Xiu-Qin Ci, John G. Conran, and Jie Li
      2019, 57 (5): 431–439

      Mirabilis himalaica (Edgew.) Heimerl (Nyctaginaceae) is endemic to the Himalayas where it is used in traditional Tibetan folk medicine and is the only Old World representative of a large New World genus. The systematic position of M. himalaica and historical biogeography of Mirabilis and related genera was evaluated using two loci (nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer, rps16), with divergence times estimated using internal transcribed spacer sequences. All 16 sampled provenances of M. himalaica formed a strongly supported terminal clade and at the sectional level formed a clade with sect. Quamoclidion sensu stricto, despite their morphology. Section Oxybaphoides and sect. Oxybaphus were not closely related to M. himalaica, suggesting their apparent morphological similarities are convergent. The beast analysis and ancestral area reconstruction indicated that M. himalaica separated from related North American species during the late Miocene to early Pleistocene ∼5.22 Ma (95% highest posterior density, 2.53–8.18). Both migration by way of the Quaternary Bering land bridge (Beringia) and long‐distance dispersal could have contributed to the present‐day disjunction between M. himalaica and the American species. These results agree with previous studies that suggest Oxybaphus should be merged into Mirabilis. However, although the infrageneric position of M. himalaica is still uncertain, it is not close to sect. Oxybaphus as has been suggested previously.

    • Jing-Jing Sun, Tao Zhou, Rui-Ting Zhang, Yun Jia, Yue-Mei Zhao, Jia Yang, and Gui-Fang Zhao
      2019, 57 (5): 440–450

      Quercus species comprise the major genera in the family Fagaceae and they are widely distributed in the Northern Hemisphere. Many Quercus species, including several endemics, are distributed in China. Genetic resources have been established for the important genera but few transcriptomes are available for Quercus species in China. In this study, we used Illumina paired‐end sequencing to obtain the transcriptomes of two oak species, Q. liaotungensis Koidz. and Q. mongolica Fisch. ex Turcz. Approximately 24 million reads were generated and then a total of 103 618 unigenes were obtained after assembly for both species. Comparative transcriptome analyses of both species identified a total of 12 981 orthologous contigs. The Ka/Ks estimation and enrichment analysis indicated that 1179 (9.08%) orthologs showed rapid evolution, and most of these orthologs were related to functions comprising “DNA repair”, “response to cold”, and “response to drought”. This findings could provide some insights into how these two closely related Quercus species adapted to extreme environments characterized by aridity and cold. The divergence time (approximately 4.27–5.93 Mya) between the two Quercus species was estimated according to the Ks distribution. Moreover, 16 608 simple sequence repeat loci were detected and 12 363 primer pairs were designed. Subsequently, 158 of the 12 363 primer pairs were randomly selected to test the polymorphisms and 92 of the primer pairs were successfully amplified in the two oak species. The resultant orthologs and simple sequence repeat markers are valuable for genetic differentiation analyses and evolutionary studies of Quercus.

    • Gisela M. Via do Pico, Yanina J. Pérez, María B. Angulo, and Massimiliano Dematteis
      2019, 57 (5): 451–467

      Understanding speciation and biodiversity patterns in plants requires knowledge of the general role of climate in allowing polyploids to escape competition and persist with their diploid progenitors. This is a particularly interesting issue in widespread species that present multiple ploidy levels and occur across a heterogeneous environment. Chrysolaena (Vernonieae, Asteraceae) is a cytogenetically very diverse genus, with significant interspecific and intraspecific ploidy level variation and with continuous distribution across South America. No previous studies have summarized chromosome count data of Chrysolaena or addressed the cytogeography of the genus. Ploidy level of Chrysolaena species was determined by chromosome counting during mitosis and/or meiosis; the geographic distribution of cytotypes was examined and the correlations between the distribution of particular cytotypes and current ecological conditions were evaluated. A total of 43 new chromosome counts and five ploidy levels (2x, 4x, 6x, 7x, 8x) were reported. The chromosome number of C. cordifolia (2n = 7x = 70) and a new cytotype for C. propinqua var. canescens (2n = 4x = 40) are reported for the first time. Three geographic areas with high diversity of cytotypes and species were detected. The results obtained do not suggest a clear distribution pattern that depends on climatic factors for Chrysolaena populations. However, a geographic pattern was identified in the distribution of ploidy levels, with diploid species presenting a more restricted distribution than polyploid species.

    • Santiago Andrés-Sánchez, G. Anthony Verboom, Mercè Galbany-Casals, and Nicola G. Bergh
      2019, 57 (5): 468–487
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      The basal grade of the large, widely‐distributed Helichrysum‐Anaphalis‐Pseudognaphalium (HAP) clade (Asteraceae, Gnaphalieae) comprises exclusively southern African taxa. These species possess unusual trait combinations relative to the remaining species (a high proportion of annuals, unusual capitulum arrangement, and low base chromosome numbers). A time‐proportional Bayesian phylogenetic hypothesis is generated from nuclear ribosomal sequences from 110 accessions. Ancestral area, life history, and base chromosome number are reconstructed using maximum likelihood, and correlations between life‐history and chromosome number are tested in a phylogenetic framework. The results show that the HAP clade probably originated and experienced initial diversification in the Greater Cape Floristic Region in the Early to Middle Miocene. The ancestor of the HAP clade is inferred to have been perennial with x = 7 base chromosome number. Several independent acquisitions of the annual life‐history are inferred, accompanied by reductions to x = 4 and 5. A single reversal to perennial life history is associated with a subsequent change back to the state of x = 7. Origin and early diversification within the HAP clade follows the pattern of multi‐area seeded radiations within southern Africa, with subsequent migrations to the rest of Africa and the Northern Hemisphere. Occupation of drier habitats with shorter growing seasons may select for the acquisition of a shorter life‐cycle, and our results indicate a strong association between short life‐cycle and reduced chromosome number.

    • Jose L. Villar, M. Ángeles Alonso, Ana Juan, John F. Gaskin, and Manuel B. Crespo
      2019, 57 (5): 488–507
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      Tamarix is one of the taxonomically most complex genera among the angiosperms, and there is little consensus regarding its infrageneric classification. Here we present the most complete phylogenetic reconstruction of the genus to date. This includes a DNA phylogenetic tree based on nuclear ribosomal ITS, and a plastid DNA phylogeny based on three intergenic spacers (trnS‐trnG, ndhF‐rpl32, and trnQ‐rps16). In total, both nuclear and plastid phylogenetic analyses include more than 70 samples of 39 species from 27 countries, which represent close to 60% of the diversity of the genus. Two complementary trees, based only on one plastid marker, are also included. The first, based on trnS‐trnG, is used to increase the number of species related to T. amplexicaulis. The second, based on ndhF‐rpl32, is used to investigate the separation between T. tetrandra and T. parviflora. The incongruence between the available infrageneric classifications and the molecular results is confirmed. A reticulate evolution is inferred from the trees, showing characters such as vaginate leaves appearing at different stages along the evolutionary history of the genus. The presence of T. canariensis outside the Canary Islands is cast into doubt, and all such records from NW Africa and Europe are here considered to belong to T. gallica. The results also suggest independence of T. karelinii from T. hispida, and T. parviflora from T. tetrandra. Relationships between a number of species are still not resolved, and additional studies will be needed to further refine the complex taxonomy of Tamarix.

    • Xiao-Yue Yang, Ze-Fu Wang, Wen-Chun Luo, Xin-Yi Guo, Cai-Hua Zhang, Jian-Quan Liu, and Guang-Peng Ren
      2019, 57 (5): 508–518

      Betulaceae is a well‐defined family of Fagales, including six living genera and more than 160 modern species. Species of the family have high ecological and economic value for the abundant production of wood. However, phylogenetic relationships within Betulaceae have remained partly unresolved, likely due to the lack of a sufficient number of informative sites used in previous studies. Here, we re‐investigate the Betulaceae phylogeny with whole chloroplast genomes from 24 species (17 newly assembled), representing all genera of the family. All the 24 plastomes are relatively conserved with four regions, and each genome is ∼158–161 kb long, with 111 genes. The six genera are all monophyletic in the plastome tree, whereas Ostrya Scop. is nested in the Carpinus clade in the internal transcribed spacer tree. Further incongruencies are also detected within some genera between species. Incomplete lineage sorting and/or hybrid introgression during the diversification of the family could account for such incongruencies. Our dating analysis, based on four fossils, suggests that the most recent common ancestors of the extant genera date back to the mid‐ to late Miocene, and confirms that Betulaceae started to diversify in the upper Cretaceous/early Paleocene. Our results highlight the significance of using more informative sites in resolving phylogenetic relationships. Plastome data and increased taxon sampling will help to better understand the evolutionary history of Betulaceae in the future.

    • Yuan Wang, Shu-Da Mo, Meng-Yao Kong, Jing Chao, Xiao-Feng Chen, Jin-Ling Yang, Yu-Jiang Yan, Zhi-Hua Shi, Sheng Qiang, Xiao-Ling Song, and Wei-Min Dai
      2019, 57 (5): 519–529

      Weeds and crops that grow together often confront similar types of environmental stress, especially drought stress. Weedy rice (Oryza sativa f. spontanea) and cultivated rice (O. sativa L.) provide a unique pair consisting of a weed and a conspecific model crop that can be used to study the drought tolerance of plants across a large distributional range. The investigation on weedy rice's damage to paddy fields showed that it was more serious in dry direct seeding than water direct seeding. Compared with water direct seeding, the seeds of cultivated rice and weedy rice in dry direct seeding will absorb water and germinate under the condition of insufficient soil moisture. Our hypothesis is that weedy rice seeds have evolved stronger germination ability than coexisting cultivated rice under water stress, so that they can obtain more growth space in the early stage in dry direct seeding and thus obtain higher fitness. Seeds of weedy rice populations and coexisting rice cultivars were collected from 61 sites across China and were germinated with 20% polyethylene glycol‐6000 to simulate drought stress. Two drought response indices, which assessed germination rate and germination index, plus one germination stress tolerance index, indicated significantly greater drought tolerance in weedy rice populations than in coexisting rice cultivars (P < 0.01). Drought tolerance for the three indexes were indica weedy rice > indica rice cultivars, japonica weedy rice > japonica rice cultivars, and indica weedy rice > japonica rice cultivars. These results indicate that weedy rice populations show stronger drought stress tolerance than coexisting rice cultivars at various sites, specifically during the seed germination period. Furthermore, Pearson's correlation found that drought response of weedy rice populations and coexisting rice cultivars were significantly different with these environmental factors: latitude, altitude, annual mean precipitation, mean annual temperature, mean precipitation in the sowing month, mean temperature in the sowing month, and sowing methods. Weedy rice shows different patterns of drought tolerance variation across geographical (latitude and altitude) and environmental (precipitation) gradients compared to coexisting rice cultivars. This study suggests that weedy rice might have evolved new drought tolerance and could provide a useful source of genetic resources for improving drought tolerance of crop cultivars and breeding direct seeded cultivars to reduce the usage of seeds in direct seeding.

    • Shan-Shan Li, Hai-Fei Zhou, Wen-Li Chen, Juan Yan, Zhe Cai, Ruo-Xun Wei, Chih-Hui Chen, Bin Han, Jian-Qiang Li, Tao Sang and Song Ge
      2019, 57 (5): 530–542

      Miscanthus species have received considerable attention as a potential biomass source for renewable energy production because of their ability to produce high yields of biomass and adapt to a wide range of climates and soils. To explore the genetic diversity and phylogenetic relationship of Miscanthus species in China, we used 24 simple sequence repeat markers to genotype 100 natural populations representing all four Chinese Miscanthus species (M. sinensis Andersson, M. floridulus (Lab.) Warb. ex K. Schum. & Lauterb., M. sacchariflorus (Maxim.) Hack., and M. lutarioriparius L. Liu ex Renvoize & S. L. Chen). Based on phylogenetic, principal coordinate, and Structure analyses, we found that the 100 populations formed two major groups corresponding to sect. Triarrhena and sect. Miscanthus. Group 1 (i.e., sect. Triarrhena) was further subdivided into two subgroups corresponding to M. sacchariflorus and M. lutarioriparius; Group 2 (i.e., sect. Miscanthus) was subdivided into three subgroups, group 2a (M. sinensis populations in southern China), group 2b (M. sinensis populations in northern China), and group 2c (all the M. floridulus populations). Population genetics analyses indicated high levels of the genetic diversity at both population (HE = 0.468–0.599) and species (HE = 0.559–0.708) levels, indicative of the potential of these wild resources in future breeding programs. The species distribution modeling showed that M. sacchariflorus and M. lutarioriparius have experienced population reductions during the last glacial maximum and population expansion afterward; in contrast, M. sinensis and M. floridulus both underwent gradual population expansions from the last interglaciation to the present. We also suggest that M. floridulus originated from M. sinensis in southeast China through ecological speciation. The understanding of the evolutionary history and population dynamics of these species not only provides valuable information for further genetic improvement and breeding of this energy crop but also gives important insights into the origin and speciation processes of the Miscanthus species.

Song Ge
Jun Wen
Impact Factor
JCR 2022 IF ranking: 60/238 (Plant Sciences, top 25%, Q2 quartile)
Journal Abbreviation: J Syst Evol
ISSN: 1674-4918 (Print)
1759-6831 (Online)
CN: 11-5779/Q
Frequency: Bi-monthly




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