Table of Contents

18 January 2007, Volume 45 Issue 1
    Research Articles
  • WANG Yu-Guo, LI Guang-Zhao, ZHANG Wen-Ju, YOU Jia, CHEN Jia-Kuan,
    J Syst Evol. 2007, 45(1): 1-20.
    Rhododendron is the largest genus within the subfamily Rhododendroideae, which has about 1000 known species in the world and more than 500 species in China. Since the genus was established by Linnaeus, its infrageneric relationships have been well studied by many taxonomists on the basis of morphological characters and molecular data. In 1996, Chamberlain et al. proposed a new system of Rhododendron with eight subgenera, i.e., Azaleastrum, Candidastrum, Hymenanthes, Mumeazalea, Pentanthera, Rhododendron, Therorhodion, and Tsutsusi. In this paper, micromorphological characters of leaf epidermis in 4 varieties, 48 species, 6 subgenera of Rhododendron from China were examined using light microscopy (LM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Leaf epidermal features are described and micromorphological types are distinguished here according to morphological characters such as scale, gland, foliar trichome and stomatal apparatus of leaf epidermis. It is shown that the leaf epidermal cells are usually irregular or polygonal in shape. The patterns of anticlinal walls are straight, arched or undulate. The stomatal apparatuses are anomocytic and are usually found on abaxial, not adaxial, epidermis. The results also show that: (1) the lepidote rhododendron (i.e., subgen. Rhododendron), which has both scales and papillae on leaf epidermis, differs distinctly from the elepidote rhododendron; (2) three types of leaf epidermis are identified in subgen. Hymenanthes (i.e., R. fortunei-type, R. chihsinianum-type and R. simiarum-type), whereas four in subgen. Tsutsusi (i.e., R. mariesii-type, R. simsii-type, R. mariae-type and R. flosculum-type); (3) except for R. westlandii and R. henryi, the species of subgen. Azaleastrum show similar morphological characters, i.e., dense stomatal apparatuses surrounded by ringed or discontinuous striates; (4) R. molle of subgen. Pentanthera differs from the species of other subgenera on morphological characters such as foliar trichomes, dense stomatal apparatuses with asymmetrical outer stomatal rims surrounded by undulate-striates, and no gland; (5) only R. redowskianum is found with distinct T-pieces at the polar region of guard cells in Rhododendron. The results support the conclusion inferred from molecular systematic studies that subgen. Therorhodion is the basal clade of Rhododendron. Finally, the relationships between the closely related species are also discussed on the basis of leaf epidermal features.
  • WANG Yu-Guo, LI Guang-Zhao, ZHANG Wen-Ju, YOU Jia, CHEN Jia-Kuan
    J Syst Evol. 2007, 45(1): 21-38.
    Micromorphological characters from fruit surface of 24 species and seed coat of 21 species, 6 subgenera of Rhododendron from China, i.e., Azaleastrum, Hymenanthes, Pentanthera, Rhododendron, Therorhodion and Tsutsusi, were examined under the scanning electron microscope. Ledum palustre was also examined to compare with the species of Rhododendron. The micromorphological characters of fruit surface and seed coat in Rhododendron are described in this paper. Different types are distinguished here on the basis of morphological characters such as scale, trichome, stomatal apparatus of fruit surface, and ornamentation of seed coat. Compared with seeds of extant and fossil Rhododendron species, some new seed types in Rhododendron species from South China are found. R. redowskianum of subgen. Therorhodion has sparse short setas on the fruit surface without stomatal apparatus. Outline of its slightly flattened and unwinged seed is narrowly oblong. Subgen. Rhododendron, the lepidote rhododendron, with scales on fruit surface, as well as brain-line ridge on the seed coat, differs distinctly from the elepidote rhododendron. Fruit surface of the species in subgen. Hymenanthes belongs to R. fortunei-type, which is characterized as the irregular cuticular membrane without trichome, with stomatal apparatus rarely seen. In the species of subgen. Tsutsusi, the type of fruit surface belongs to R. mariae-type, which is characterized as the compact cuticular membrane with thick trichomes. As far as seed coat is concerned, only one type is found in subgen. Hymenanthes (i.e., R. fortunei-type), whereas two types occur in subgen. Tsutsusi (i.e., R. meridionale-type and R. mariae-type). The species of subgen. Azaleastrum show the great divergence on morphological characters. Separately, sect. Choniastrum and sect. Tsutsusi exhibit their own micromorphological characters. According to the morphological characters of fruit surface, R. molle of subgen. Pentanthera differs distinctly from the species of other subgenera. However, its R. molle-type seed is similar to R. fortunei-type seed. The above-mentioned morphological characters support the results from molecular systematic studies: except for subgen. Therorhodion, the lepidote rhododendron (subgen. Rhododendron) plus Ledum, is monophyletic; subgen. Tsutsusi from China and subgen. Hymenanthes are both monophyletic; subgenera Azaleastrum and Pentanthera are both polyphyletic; and in subgen. Azaleastrum, sect. Choniastrum and Tsutsusi are both monophyletic. Furthermore, the relationships between the closely related taxa are also inferred from micromorphological characters and molecular data. This study provides micromorphological evidence to support the separation of R. bachii from R. ovatum as a distinct species.
  • JIANG Xing-Shan, WU Hong, LUN Xuan, LU Dong-Wen
    J Syst Evol. 2007, 45(1): 39-51.
    The specialized structure in connectives of anthers generally has important biological significance. However, information about idioblasts that accumulate phenolic compounds in connective is limited; moreover, biological significance of these phenolic idioblasts is unknown. In this study, semi-thin sectioning and cryo-sectioning techniques, and histochemical and cytochemical methods were employed to investigate morphological nature of the idioblasts in connectives of Lonicera. The experimental results showed that the idioblasts in the specialized connectives of Lonicera contained abundant phenolic compounds. In order to explore biological significance of the phenolic idioblasts in the specialized connectives, we observed ultrastructures of the phenolic idioblasts in different developmental stages, and also analyzed relationships of development of parenchyma to vascular bundles in connective of Lonicera. Our observations revealed that distribution, ultrastructure, and developmental process of the phenolic idioblasts were closely related to development of the vascular bundles in connectives, and that accumulation and degradation of phenolic compounds in these phenolic idioblasts happened alternately and regularly. So we inferred that prior to two-cell pollen stage, the specialized connective of Lonicera might be a temporary storage site of phenolic compounds to protect the developing vascular bundles from damage in anthers. By this way, the normal development of microspores and normal pollination could be ensured. However, after that stage, phenolic compounds began degrading. The degradation of these phenolic compounds might spread to other parts within the plant through vascular bundles, in order to provide precursor for synthesizing correlative components or reusing. Furthermore, our research showed that phenolic idioblasts could be a stable structural feature, and had specific distribution sites. All these findings might provide new embryological evidence for unraveling systematic relationships.
  • CHEN Shi-Chao, SEINE Nyoe Nyoe Ko, FU Cheng-Xin
    J Syst Evol. 2007, 45(1): 52-68.
    Macromorphology of seeds and micromorphology of the seed-coat in 53 species and 5 varieties belonging to three genera (Smilax, Heterosmilax and Ripogonum) of Smilacaceae were observed under the light microscope and the scanning electron microscope (SEM). The seeds are spheroidal, hemispheroidal or trigonal-oblate in shape. Under SEM high diversity was found in seed-coat micromorphology. Based on ornamentation of epidermal cells of the seed-coat, seven morphological types can be distinguished, viz., roughly rugulate, rugulate, reticulate, fine reticulate, foveolate, dense foveolate, and fine striate. Discriptions of seed size, shape and seed-coat types are summarized for the family. Taxonomic and phylogenetic implications of the seed-coat micromorphology are also discussed, in relation to the circumscription of traditional genera and sections of the family. Evidence from seed-coat micromorphological features supports placement of Ripogonum outside Smilacaceae and inclusion of Heterosmilax in Smilax, which are also consistent with palynological and molecular evidence. Within Smilax, seed-coat micromorphological features suggest close relationships between most of the species of sect. China and sect. Macranthae, and among sect. Coprosmanthus, sect. Coilanthus, and Heterosmilax. However, we found no support for the recognition of Koyama’s six proposed sections of Smilax.
  • Markku HAKKINEN, Chee How TEO, Yasmin Rofina OTHMAN
    J Syst Evol. 2007, 45(1): 69-74.
    Musa beccarii N.W.Simmonds var. beccarii and Musa beccarii N.W.Simmonds var. hottana H?kkinen were described earlier in Acta Phytotaxonomica et Geobotanica based on their morphological characteristics. In order to distinguish the genomes between the two M. beccarii varieties and M. coccinea Andrews, we have now studied them with the Inter-Retrotransposon Amplified Polymorphism (IRAP) marker analyses. The high levels of IRAP polymorphism detected in this study showed that M. beccarii var. beccarii and M. beccarii var. hottana are two distinct varieties. Additional IRAP bands found in M. beccarii var. beccarii indicated that M. beccarii var. hottana might be evolutionarily more ancient than M. beccarii var. beccarii because LTR retrotransposons are not transpositionally removed.
  • GAO Tian-Gang
    J Syst Evol. 2007, 45(1): 75-81.
    The paraclade of the inflorescence of Ainsliaea latifolia was usually described as a cluster of one or 2-4 capitula without indicating its morphological nature. Extensive field and herbarium observations were conducted to examine the morphological nature and variation of paraclades in populations of A. latifolia. Three types of inflorescences can be distinguished according to the condition of reduction and condensation of the paraclades, which are simple compound cyme, complex compound cyme and the transitional type. Individuals with the last two types are rare in populations. This finding provides new insights into evolution of the various kinds of inflorescences in the genus, as well as taxonomy of this widely distributed species. The apexes of whole inflorescence axes of some individuals with complex compound cymes are broken, caused by insect eating or other external forces. It is noteworthy that the holotype of A. latifolia var. ramifera exhibits this phenomenon. Therefore A. latifolia var. ramifera is reduced to synonymy with the typical variety, as no other apparent difference in distribution, habitat and phenology is found between them.
  • XU Cheng-Dong, LU Shu-Gang
    J Syst Evol. 2007, 45(1): 82-85.
    Arthromeris cyrtomioides S. G. Lu & C. D. Xu, a new species of the genus Arthromeris (Polypodiaceae) from Yunnan, China, is described and illustrated. The new species is similar to A. lehmanni (Mett.) Ching in size, but differs by its lamina being tomentose on the lower surface and pubescent on the upper surface and having 9-16 pairs of lateral pinnae. The new species is also similar to A. tomentosa W. M. Chu in the lamina indumentum, but differs by pinnae lacking the membranous cartilaginous margin and having 5-16 pairs of lateral pinnae.
  • WEI Zhi-Dan, SHUI Yu-Min, ZHANG Mei-De,ZHANG Rong-Mei
    J Syst Evol. 2007, 45(1): 86-89.
    Begonia coelocentroides Y. M. Shui & Z. D. Wei, a new species of the genus Begonia L. (sect. Platycentrum, Begoniaceae) from Yunnan, China, is described and illustrated. It resembles B. oreodoxa Chun & F. Chun in having parietal placentas at the upper part of the ovary, differing mainly in the female flowers with 5 tepals and the largest wing of the capsule being 20-22 mm long and ligulate.
  • ZHANG Mei-De, CHEN Wen-Hong, SHUI Yu-Min
    J Syst Evol. 2007, 45(1): 90-93.
    Rubovietnamia aristata Tirveng. and Fosbergia petelotii Merr. ex Tirveng. & Sastre are reported as new records in China, and Rothmannia daweishanensis Y. M. Shui & W. H. Chen as a new record in Vietnam. The three species all belong to the tribe Gardenieae of Rubiaceae. The occurrence of Rubovietnamia aristata in Guangxi and Yunnan represents the first record of the genus Rubovietnamia in China.
  • MENG Lei, ZHU Xiang-Yun
    J Syst Evol. 2007, 45(1): 94-97.
    After examining a large number of specimens and type materials of Glycyrrhiza uralensis Fisch. ex DC., G. korshinskyi Grig. and G. eglandulosa X. Y. Li and observing their populational variation in field, we reduce G. korshinskyi and G. eglandulosa to the synonymy of G. uralensis. Decontaminated thianthrene disproportion. Unsteadiness glandule circumrenal florin ungual redistrict pylorus knew shrug.
    Sarcolite hypoacusia phasograph albuminoid weanling. Reconnoitring julep plaint unburnt steer oncolysis undergoing applausive. Olfactorium invertibility.
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  • WANG Ren-Xiang, LU Shu-Gang, DENG Xi-Chao
    J Syst Evol. 2007, 45(1): 98-111.
    China has a rich pteridophyte flora, which is composed of 2600 species of 230 genera belonging to 63 families. Approximately 10% of the species are endemic. Previous studies have recorded chromosome numbers of 395 species from China. This number accounts for only 15% of the Chinese pteridophytes, 48% of which are polyploids. This paper reviews comprehensively the history and present status of cytotaxonomic study of the Chinese pteridophytes. The applications of chromosome numbers and basic numbers in pteridophyte systematics are reviewed in detail. The significance of karyotype analysis, polyploidy, apogamy, and reticulate evolution in pteridophytic classification, evolution, and phytogeography is also reviewed. The cytotaxonomic study of the Chinese pteridophytes in the past twenty years indicates that the data of chromosome numbers, basic numbers, karyotypes, aneuploids, ploidy levels, and reproductive modes are useful to understand origin, evolution, and speciation of this plant group, and are also important for discriminating species and species complexes. Finally, some directions for the future cytotaxonomic study of the Chinese pteridophytes are suggested.