Table of Contents

02 July 2009, Volume 47 Issue 4
    Research Articles
  • Lin FU, Qing-Wen ZENG, Jing-Ping LIAO, Feng-Xia XU
    J Syst Evol. 2009, 47(4): 263-272.
    Woonyoungia septentrionalis (Dandy) Law is a dioecious species with unisexual flowers in Magnoliaceae. The floral morphology and structure of the species are conspicuously different from other species and are important to the study of floral phylogeny in this family. The floral anatomy and ontogeny were investigated to evaluate the systematic position of W. septentrionalis, using scanning electron microscopy and light microscopy. All of the floral organs are initiated acropetally and spirally. The carpels are of conduplicated type without the differentiation of stigma and style. The degenerated stamens in the female flowers have the same structures as the normal stamens at the earlier developmental stages, but they do not undergo successive development and eventually degenerate. The male floral apex was observed to have the remnants of carpels in a few investigated samples. As the bisexual flower features could be traced both in the male and female flowers in W. septentrionalis, it suggests that the flower sex in Magnoliaceae tends toward unisexual. As well as the unisexual flowers, the reduced tepals and carpels and concrescence of carpels conform to the specialized tendency in Magnoliaceae, which confirms the derived position of W. septentrionalis in this family. As the initiation pattern of floral parts of W. septentrionalis is very similar to other species in this family, it needs further investigation and especially comparison with species in Kmeria to evaluate the separation of Woonyoungia
  • Xian-Lan DENG, Xing-Jin HE, Wei-Lue HE, Yun-Dong GAO, Hai-Yan LIU, Yu-Cheng ZHANG
    J Syst Evol. 2009, 47(4): 273-285.
    In the present study, the karyotypes of 34 populations belonging to 11 species and one variety of Heracleum from the Hengduan Mountains in China were examined. Chromosome numbers and the karyotypes of three species (H. souliei, H. kingdoni, and H. wenchuanense) are reported for the first time, as are the karyotypes of H. moellendorffii and H. henryi (tetraploid). Populations of H. candicans, H. franchetii, and H. kingdoni in the Hengduan Mountains were found to consist of a mixture of diploid and tetraploid plants. Except for four species of Heracleum, namely H. candicans, H. franchetii, H. henryi, and H. kingdoni, which have both diploid and tetraploid karyotypes, all other species of Heracleum are were found to be diploid. All karyotypes were found to belong to the 2A type of Stebbins, with the exception of H. candicans var. obtusifolium, which belongs to 2B, and H. hemsleyanum and H. franchetii (Mt. Dujuan, Daocheng, Sichuan, China), which belong to 1A. There was only a slight difference in the karyotype asymmetry index, which suggests a close kinship for species of Heracleum and that the entire phylogenetic development of Heracleum is relatively primitive. Species that exhibited advanced morphological features were also more advanced in karyotype structure, with the order of karyotype evolution being 1A→2A→2B. This phenomenon indicates that the species distributed in the Hengduan Mountains have not diverged completely and that the Hengduan Mountains are a relatively young and active area for the evolution of Heracleum. Polyploidization in Heracleum may be an important evolutionary mechanisms for some species, generating diversity. The biological attributes, distribution range, and the geological history of the genus have all played a part in accelerating the evolution through polyploidization or aneuploidization. It is known that as the distribution latitude of Heracleum decreases from north to south, the chromosome number, ploidy level, and asymmetry structure appear to increase. In the Hengduan Mountains, these tendencies are also evident. Finally, based on all the available cytogeographic data, we speculate that the more advanced tetraplont or aneuploid species of Heracleum in India may be derived from early diplont species that were distributed in the Caucasus region and Hengduan Mountains. The dispersal of Heracleum was from Eurasia to India, because this correlates with the emergence of the Himalayan Mountains through tectonic movement. Thus, the Hengduan Mountains are not only a center of diversity for Heracleum, but also a center of active speciation in modern times.
  • Hui-Sheng DENG, Da-Ming ZHANG, De-Yuan HONG, Cheng-Xin FU
    J Syst Evol. 2009, 47(4): 287-290.
    The meiotic behavior of 10 taxa (nine species and one variety) of the genus Pinus was investigated using pollen mother cells (PMCs) to reveal the differentiation among karyotypes. Chromosome spreads were prepared by conventional squashing. The meiotic index and the average configuration were higher, whereas the frequency of aberrance (chromosomal bridges, fragments, or micronuclei) was lower, in all 10 taxa compared with other gymnosperms. The meiotic index, average configuration, and frequency of irregularity were found to be uniform among the species. It was shown that the genomes of the Pinus species investigated were highly stable, confirming results of previous mitotic analyses in this genus. However, slight differentiation of homologous chromosomes among genomes was revealed by analysis of meiotic configurations in Pinus nigra var. poiretiana. Quadrivalents were observed in 9.31% of PMCs in this species. This is the first time that quadrivalents have been observed in gymnosperms.
  • Jing YANG, Jiang-Chong WU, Zhi-Jian GU
    J Syst Evol. 2009, 47(4): 291-296.
    The karyomorphology of three species in Dipentodon (Dipentodontaceae), Perrottetia (Celastraceae), and Tapiscia (Tapisciaceae), namely Dipentodon sinicus, Perrottetia racemosa, and Tapiscia sinensis, was investigated in the present study. Recent molecular research has discovered close relationships among these three genera, which has led to the establishment of the order Huerteales with Perrottetia being placed in Dipentodontaceae. Herein we report the chromosome numbers of D. sinicus and P. racemosa for the first time, and present their karyotype formulas as 2n= 34 = 22 sm + 12 st (D. sinicus), 2n= 20 = 11 m + 9 sm (P. racemosa), and 2n= 30 = 22 m(2SAT) + 8sm (T. sinensis). Asymmetry of their karyotypes is categorized to be Type 3B in D. sinicus, Type 2A in P. racemosa, and Type 2A in T. sinensis. Each of the species shows special cytological features. Compared with Perrottetia, Dipentodon has a different basic chromosome number, a higher karyotype asymmetry, and different karyomorphology of its interphase nuclei, mitotic prophase, and metaphase. Thus, on the basis of these results, we have reservations regarding the suggestion of placing Dipentodon and Perrottetia together in the family Dipentodontaceae.
  • Zhi-Hong ZHANG, Chun-Qi LI, Jianhua LI
    J Syst Evol. 2009, 47(4): 297-304.
    Cynomorium is a herbaceous holoparasite that has been placed in Santalales, Saxifragales, Myrtales, or Sapindales. The inverted repeat (IR) region of the chloroplast genome region is slow evolving and, unlike mitochondrial genes, the chloroplast genome experiences few horizontal gene transfers between the host and parasite. Thus, in the present study, we used sequences of the IR region to test the phylogenetic placements of Cynomorium. Phylogenetic analyses of the chloroplast IR sequences generated largely congruent ordinal relationships with those from previous studies of angiosperm phylogeny based on single or multiple genes. Santalales was closely related to Caryophyllales and asterids. Saxifragales formed a clade where Peridiscus was sister to the remainder of the order, whereas Paeonia was sister to the woody clade of Saxifragales. Cynomorium is not closely related to Santalales, Saxifragales, Myrtales, or Sapindales; instead, it is included in Rosales and sister to Rosaceae. The various placements of the holoparasite on the basis of different regions of the mitochondrial genome may indicate the heterogeneous nature of the genome in the parasite. However, it is unlikely that the placement of Cynomorium in Rosales is the result of chloroplast gene transfer because Cynomorium does not parasitize on rosaceous plants and there is no chloroplast gene transfer between Cynomorium and Nitraria, a confirmed host of Cynomorium and a member of Sapindales.
  • Chong-Mei XU, Chang-You QU, Wen-Guang YU, Xue-Jie ZHANG, Fa-Zeng LI
    J Syst Evol. 2009, 47(4): 305-310.
    The phylogenetic origin of Beckmannia remains unknown. The genus has been placed within the Chlorideae, Aveneae (Agrostideae), Poeae, or treated as an isolate lineage, Beckmanniinae. In the present study, we used nuclear internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and chloroplast trnL-F sequences to examine the phylogenetic relationship between Beckmannia and those genera that have assumed to be related. On the basis of the results of our studies, the following conclusions could be drawn: (i) Beckmannia and Alopecurus are sister groups with high support; and (ii) Beckmannia and Alopecurus are nested in the Poeae clade with high support. The results of our analysis suggest that Beckmannia should be placed in Poeae.
  • Chen-Ying WANG, Jian-Cheng ZHAO
    J Syst Evol. 2009, 47(4): 311-320.
    The phylogeny of Ptychostomum was first undertaken based on analysis of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of the nuclear ribosomal (nr) DNA and by combining data from nrDNA ITS and chloroplast DNA rps4 sequences. Maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian analyses all support the conclusion that the reinstated genus Ptychostomum is not monophyletic. Ptychostomum funkii (Schwägr.) J. R. Spence (≡Bryum funkii Schwägr.) is placed within a clade containing the type species of Bryum, B. argenteum Hedw. The remaining members of Ptychostomum investigated in the present study constitute another well-supported clade. The results are congruent with previous molecular analyses. On the basis of phylogenetic evidence, we agree with transferring B. amblyodon Müll. Hal. (≡B. inclinatum (Brid.) Turton ≡Bryum archangelicum Bruch & Schimp.), Bryum lonchocaulon Müll. Hal., Bryum pallescens Schleich. ex Schwägr., and Bryum pallens Sw. to Ptychostomum.
  • Zhi-Jun DONG, Hui HUANG, Liang-Min HUANG, Yuan-Chao LI
    J Syst Evol. 2009, 47(4): 321-326.
    Symbiotic algae (Symbiodinium sp.) in scleractinian corals are important in understanding how coral reefs will respond to global climate change. The present paper reports on the diversity of Symbiodinium sp. in 48 scleractinian coral species from 25 genera and 10 families sampled from the Xisha Islands in the South China Sea, which were identified with the use of restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) of the nuclear ribosomal DNA large subunit gene (rDNA). The results showed that: (i) Symbiodinium Clade C was the dominant zooxanthellae in scleractinian corals in the Xisha Islands; (ii) Symbiodinium Clade D was found in the corals Montipora aequituberculata, Galaxea fascicularis, and Plerogyra sinuosa; and (iii) both Symbiodinium Clades C and D were found simultaneously in Montipora digitata, Psammocora contigua, and Galaxea fascicularis. A poor capacity for symbiosis polymorphism, as uncovered by RFLP, in the Xisha Islands indicates that the scleractinian corals have low adaptability to environmental changes. Further studies are needed to investigate zooxanthellae diversity using other molecular markers.