Table of Contents
  • Volume 48 Issue 2

    Cover illustration: Pollination mechanism of Bulbophyllum penicillium. A, A fruit fly (arrow) enters a flower of B. penicillium foraging for food and sets the lip in motion. B, The fruit fly (arrow) drops with the lip. C, The lip moves downwards and then upwards allowing the fruit fly (arrow) to touch the stigma and the anther. D, The fruit fly picks up two pollinia of B. penicillium on its thorax (arrow) after touching the anther. See LIU et al., pp. 102–108 in this issue.
    • Lei GAO, Ying-Juan SU, Ting WANG
      2010, 48 (2): 77–93
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      Owing to the advances of DNA sequencing technologies, at least 190 plastid genomes have been completely sequenced during the past two decades. Based on this unprecedented abundance of data, extensive genomic changes have been revealed in the plastid genomes. Inversion is the most common mechanism that leads to gene order changes. Several inversion events have been recognized as informative phylogenetic markers, such as a 30-kb inversion found in all living vascular plants minus lycopsids and two short inversions putatively shared by all ferns. Gene loss is a common event throughout plastid genome evolution. Many genes were independently lost or transferred to the nuclear genome in multiple plant lineages. The trnR-CCG gene was lost in some clades of lycophytes, ferns and seed plants, and all the ndh genes were absent in parasitic plants, gnetophytes, Pinaceae and the Taiwan moth orchid. Certain parasitic plants have particularly lost plastid genes related to photosynthesis because of the relaxation of functional constraint. The dramatic growth of plastid genome sequences has also promoted the utilization of whole plastid sequences and genomic features to solve phylogenetic problems. Chloroplast phylogenomics has provided additional evidences for deep-level phylogenetic relationships as well as increased phylogenetic resolutions at low taxonomic levels. However, chloroplast phylogenomics is still in its infant stage and rigorous analysis methodology has yet to be developed.
    • Ji-Si ZHANG Ying TIAN Li WANG Chao-Ying HE*
      2010, 48 (2): 94–101
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      Origin of the morphological and ecological novelties is a long-standing problem in evolutionary biology. Understanding these processes requires investigation from both development and evolution, which promotes a new research field called evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo). The fundamental mechanism for the origin of a novel structure may involve heterotopy, heterochrony, ectopic expression or loss of an existing regulatory factor. Accordingly, the morphological and ecological traits controlled by the regulatory genes may be gained, lost, and regained during evolution. Floral morphological novelties, for example, include homeotic alterations (related to organ identity), symmetric diversity and change in size and morphology of the floral organs. These gain and loss can potentially arise through modification of the existing regulatory networks. Here we review current knowledge concerning the origin of novel floral structures, such as “evolutionary homeotic mutated flowers”, floral symmetry in various plant species and inflated calyx syndrome (ICS) within Solanaceae. Functional evo-devo of the morphological novelties is a central theme of plant evolutionary biology. In addition, the discussion is extended to consider agronomic or domestication-related traits, including type, size and morphology of fruits (berries) within Solanaceae.
    • Research Articles
    • Zhong-Jian LIU, Li-Jun CHEN, Ke-Wei LIU, Li-Qiang LI, Wen-Hui RAO
      2010, 48 (2): 102–108
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      A new pollination mechanism is reported of an orchid species, Bulbophyllum penicillium, based on a field observation in Southeast Yunnan of China. This species has a sensitive lip, and there is a distance of 2–3 mm between it and column apex. Once the lip is touched by a landing insect, it will move up and down or swing left and right continuously, just like a moving caterpillar. By suck a lip movement, the pollinator, a very small fruit fly (Drosophila sp.) ca. 1 mm in height, will be pressed toward the column apex where anther and stigma are located, and then cross-pollination takes place. This unique mode of pollination, depending on the movement of lip rather than insect itself, has never been found before in either Orchidaceae or other families of angiosperms.
    • Zhi-Kun WU,Chang-Qin ZHANG
      2010, 48 (2): 109–117
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      The comparative pollination biology of a population of Primula beesiana, a population of P. bulleyana and an overlapping population of these two species in the Yulong Shan, Yunnan Province, China, was studied in 2004 and 2005. The results indicated that both P. beesiana and P. bulleyana were typical heterostylous and obligate outcrossing species; the main pollinators of the two species were bees and butterflies. In all three populations’ sites, the main pollinating visitors of the two species showed preference to one of the two species, resulting in pollinators’ ethological isolation of the two species. The pollinators’ ethological isolation contributes to the reproductive isolation of the two species, which supports the hypothesis that P. beesiana and P. bulleyana are two distinct species. The reproductive isolation of the two species (ethological isolation) is probably an important mechanism in maintaining species boundaries in the genus, and has contributed to the species diversification of Primula in the area. In addition, gene exchanges between P. beesiana and P. bulleyana occurred to some extent in the overlapping population, but whether natural hybridization has contributed to species diversification in Primula remains to be seen.
    • Min-Hui LI, Yong PENG, Pei-Gen XIAO
      2010, 48 (2): 118–122
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      Salvia L. (family Lamiaceae) a large genus of over 1,000 species is widely distributed in tropical and temperate regions of the world. Among them 84 species are native to China. There remain, however, many taxonomic uncertainties at the sub-generic level. Diterpenoids are a class of secondary metabolites with a large variety of structures and they have been used as chemotaxonomic markers at infra and super-generic levels. For the sake of further chemotaxonomic understanding of Salvia, this paper describes an investigation on the distribution of tanshinones, a group of biologically active diterpenes, which are known to be present in some Chinese members of the genus. Using HPLC with DAD detector, tanshinones in various Salvia species were determined and the distribution supported the circumscription of the sect. Drymosphare in the original sense of Bentham. The distribution of tanshinones, therefore, provides a valuable chemotaxonomic tool for determining infra-generic differences within Salvia.
    • Hai-Fei YAN, Chong-Hua HE, Ching-I PENG, Chi-Ming HU, Gang HAO
      2010, 48 (2): 123–132
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      Recent molecular phylogenetic analyses on Primula have greatly enhanced the understanding of the infrageneric relationships of the genus, but the subgenera Auganthus and Carolinella remain meagerly sampled and poorly understood. In this study, nucleotide sequence data of three chloroplast DNA regions (matK, rps16, and trnL-F) were employed to infer phylogenetic relationships of the subgenera Auganthus and Carolinella. Sequence data were acquired and analyzed for 70 species of Primula and its close relatives. The data matrix included 29 species (42%) of subgenus Auganthus and 5 species (50%) from subgenus Carolinella. Phylogenetic analyses on these data showed that the sampled species of the subgenus Carolinella do not form a monophyletic clade, but dispersed among the species of the subgenus Auganthus. Neither subgenus Auganthus nor Carolinella is therefore monophyletic under their current circumscriptions. The distinctive calyptrate capsule that was previously used as a diagnostic criterion for subgenus Carolinella was inferred to have evolved multiple times in Primula based on the phylogeny. Our analysis also confirmed that Cortusa is nested within subgenus Auganthus. We, therefore, suggest a revised circumscription of subgenus Auganthus to include subgenus Carolinella and the genus Cortusa. Several clades were identified with this broadly defined subgenus Auganthus by the phylogenetic analyses, but their relationships remain incompletely resolved.
    • Yan HU,Li-Wei SUN,Mokgolodi Neo C.,Yan-Xia ZHANG, Chun-Xiu WEN,Xiao-Liang XIE,Yu-Jun LIU
      2010, 48 (2): 133–145
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      Unresolved controversies concerning classification of the monotypic genus Perilla L. have hindered the complete understanding and subsequent sustainable use of these vital food, oil and medicinal plants to their full potential. We attempted to use scanning electron microscopy to obtain palynological evidence from Perilla plants of 21 samples from seven provinces in China as a potential extra attribute in classification. The findings showed that pollen grains from plants of 11 samples were oblate, while those of the other 10 were suboblate in shape, and there were no any type of prolate pollen grains being observed. Pollen grains of all the samples had diverse exine ornamentations. Based on whether having continuous tecta on the ornamentations, all of the pollen grains derived from the 21 samples were classified into two categories, fourteen of them with irregular reticulates, seven with continuous tecta with no perforations. None of the samples were bireticulates. The ornamentation pattern and size of pollen grains jointly provided evidence that it is appropriate to classify the genus Perilla into five varieties of one species. Furthermore, by comparison, it is concluded that shapes and exine ornamentations of Perilla are unique among those of the seven genera already investigated in the subfamily Lamioideae. Using these pollen features, Perilla could be easily distinguished from two other subtribes (Menthinae Briq. and Thyminae Briq.) in the same tribe, supporting the view that Perilla and other four related genera were divided into one subtribe (Perillinae).
    • Xiu HU, Nian LIU
      2010, 48 (2): 146–151
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      Hedychium menghaiense X. Hu & N. Liu, a new species of the Zingiberaceae from Yunnan Province, China, is described and illustrated. The new species is currently known only from its type locality, Nannuoshan Mountain, Menghai County, growing under evergreen broad-leaved forests at altitudes of 1400–1700 m. It is similar to H. forrestii Diels, but differs in its narrower and emarginate labellum folded inwards lengthwise, narrower staminodes and scarlet stamen. The recognition of the new species is supported by the results from analysis of sequence-related amplified polymorphism (SRAP) markers.

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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