Table of Contents

01 March 2009, Volume 47 Issue 2
Cover illustration: Rhododendron transiens Nakai (Ericaceae). Photographed by Xiao-Feng JIN. See ZHANG et al., pp. 123–138 in this issue.
    Research Articles
  • Shuang-Xing GUO, Jin-Geng SHA, Li-Zeng BIAN, Yin-Long QIU
    J Syst Evol. 2009, 47(2): 93-102.
    A fossil with Gnetum affinity was found in the Jianshangou Member (Barremian Age) of the Yixian Formation (Lower Cretaceous Epoch) of the Jehol Group in western Liaoning, northeastern China. The single fossil specimen is represented by both elongate-cylindrical male spike strobiles which borne within a nodal bract of cauliflorous branch. The spike strobiles have apparent nodes, invisible internodes, and numerous verticillate involucral collars. The microsporangiate units within involucral collars are not seen. The male spike strobiles with verticillate involucral collars occur exclusively in Gnetum; hence, the fossil strobiles are attributed to a new taxon, Khitania columnispicata gen. & sp. nov., being closely related to Gnetum. The general isotopic dating suggests an age of Barremian, ca. 125–122 million years (Myr) ago for the Jianshangou Member. The palaeoecological and palaeoclimatic inference based on the compositions of flora and fauna, and lithological characters of the fossil locality suggests that the fossil plants grew in a subtropical mesophytic forest and under a warmer climate. The remains of male spike strobiles are the first record of gnetalean macrofossil. It documents the evolution of the distinct gnetoid morphology and indicates a wider range of distribution of Gnetaceae in the Early Cretaceous than present day.
  • Yuan HUANG, Chang-Qin ZHANG, De-Zhu LI
    J Syst Evol. 2009, 47(2): 103-109.
    Omphalogramma souliei Franch. is an endangered perennial herb only distributed in alpine areas of SW China. ISSR markers were applied to determine the genetic variation and genetic structure of 60 individuals of three populations of O. souliei in NW Yunnan, China. The genetic diversity at the species level is low with P=42.5% (percentage of polymorphic bands) and Hsp=0.1762 (total genetic diversity). However, a high level of genetic differentiation among populations was detected based on different measures (Nei's genetic diversity analysis: Gst=0.6038; AMOVA analysis: Fst=0.6797). Low level of genetic diversity within populations and significant genetic differentiation among populations might be due to the mixed mating system in which xenogamy predominated and autogamy played an assistant role in O. souliei. The genetic drift due to small population size and limited current gene flow also resulted in significant genetic differentiation. The assessment of genetic variation and differentiation of the endangered species provides important information for conservation on a genetic basis. Conservation strategies for this rare endemic species are proposed.
  • Zhi-Rong ZHANG, Lai-Chun LUO, Ding WU, Zhi-Yong ZHANG
    J Syst Evol. 2009, 47(2): 110-114.
    Sinomanglietia glauca is a critically endangered species described from Jiangxi Province in the 1990s. Recently two populations were discovered from Yongshun County of west Hunan Province, about 450 km away from those in Jiangxi. Because of the new findings and the poor reproducibility inherent to RAPD and ISSR markers of previous studies, the population structure of this rare species was reanalyzed with chloroplast PCR-SSCP (single-stranded conformation polymorphism), including all of four recorded populations. The results showed that two distinct haplotypes characterized Jiangxi and Hunan populations separately, with no genetic variation occurring within regions. We postulated that this surprising pattern might result from habitat fragmentation and demographic bottlenecks during and/or after the Quaternary glaciation. On the basis of the pronounced genetic structure, two evolutionarily significant units (ESUs) were recommended for effective conservation of S. glauca.
  • Sangtae LEE, Meekyung KANG, Kyeong-In HEO, Wen-Li CHEN, Chunghee LEE
    J Syst Evol. 2009, 47(2): 115-122.
    Pollen grains from 15 species (18 taxa) of the genus Filipendula were examined with light and scanning electron microscopy. It was revealed that the pollen grains are isopolar, tricolporate, with scabrate or scabrate-microechinate surface. The pollen morphology was compared with the conventional classification systems of the genus by different authors, and supported Shimizu's system (1961), in which the genus was divided into three subgenera. The monotypic subgen. Hypogyna is characterized by pollen lacking fastigium and thickened costae colpi. The other monotypic subgen. Filipendula differs from others by pollen having larger grain, larger pore size, longitudinally elliptic fastigium and thickened costae colpi. The largest subgen. Ulmaria is distinguished by pollen having rounded or latitudinally elliptic fastigium and thickened costae colpi. Sectional classification was not supported by the pollen morphology due to insufficient variability.
  • Yue-Jiao ZHANG, Xiao-Feng JIN, Bing-Yang DING, Jing-Ping ZHU
    J Syst Evol. 2009, 47(2): 123-138.
    Eighty-four pollen samples were obtained for 80 taxa, of which, 13 species and one variety are from sect. Brachycalyx Sweet, 58 species and two varieties from sect. Tsutsusi Sweet, and six species from subgen. Pentanthera (G. Don) Pojarkova, respectively. Pollen morphology of all samples was observed using LM and SEM. Pollen grains are revealed to be spheroidal and tetrahedral with tricolporate apertures. Pollen sizes of subgen. Tsutsusi (Sweet) Pojarkova range from 37.67 μm to 61.06 μm, and the exine sculptures are more or less compactly granulated. Pollen sizes are significantly different between sect. Brachycalyx and sect. Tsutsusi of subgen. Tsutsusi. Rhododendron tashiroi Maxim. of sect. Tsusiopsis Sleumer shows a close affinity to sect. Brachycalyx. Pollen size and exine are consistent with general morphology in differentiating species in sect. Tsutsusi. Rhododendron huadingense B. Y. Ding & Y. Y. Fang, once placed as a member of sect. Brachycalyx, should be considered as a species in subgen. Pentanthera.
    J Syst Evol. 2009, 47(2): 139-143.
    Cornukaempferia is a recently described genus of Zingiberaceae which only occurs in Thailand as a rare genus with limited geographical distribution. Only three species have been described so far, including a recently described new species, C. larsenii. These three species are morphologically very similar and additional data on other biological aspects are useful for the elucidation of their relationship. Pollen morphology of all three species of genus Cornukaempferia has been studied by light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. The pollen grains are monad, spherical, inaperturate. The exine sculpture is echinate with psilate between the spines for C. aurantiflora and C. longipetiolata, or echinate with regulate between the spines for C. larsenii. This observation helps support the taxonomic status of C. larsenii.
  • Paul Pui-Hay BUT, Alice Wing-Sem POON, Pang-Chui SHAW, Mark P. SIMMONS, Harald GREGER
    J Syst Evol. 2009, 47(2): 144-150.
    The treatment of Rutaceae in the Chinese flora chose to follow Engler in recognizing Rutoideae and Toddalioideae as two separate subfamilies. Morphological and chemical comparisons, however, suggested grouping those two subfamilies in one subfamily, Rutoideae. This move has received support from molecular phylogenetic analyses, which also showed that the Chinese taxa in Euodia should be placed in Tetradium and Melicope following Hartley. Investigations into the chemistry and molecular phylogeny of Murraya also indicated that the species in the section Bergera without yuehchukene should be removed from Murraya. These findings clearly show the value of molecular cladistics to the taxonomy of Rutaceae in China and also directions for further investigations.
  • Wei LIU, Xiang-Yun ZHU
    J Syst Evol. 2009, 47(2): 151-161.
    After examining a large number of type and authoritative specimens of Schizophragma Siebold & Zucc., S. elliptifolium C. F. Wei and S. integrifolium var. glaucescens Rehder were reduced to synonyms of S. hypoglaucum Rehder and S. integrifolium f. cordatum S. Y. Wang was reduced to synonym of S. corylifolium Chun. Schizophragma crassum var. ellipticum J. Anthony was treated as the correct name of S. crassum var. hsitaoanum (Chun) C. F. Wei. The name S. integrifolium var. minus Rehder is reinstated. The taxonomic treatment is supported by leaf epidermal characters.
  • Feng-Juan MOU, Dian-Xiang ZHANG
    J Syst Evol. 2009, 47(2): 162-167.
    Glycosmis longipetala F. J. Mou & D. X. Zhang is described from Guangxi and Yunnan provinces in southwestern China. The new species is similar to G. cochinchinensis (Lour.) Pierre ex Engl. by its simple leaves, but distinguishable in having long-elliptic or oblanceolate (vs. ovate) leaves, long-ovoid to ellipsoid (vs. ovoid) floral buds, ovaries with many tubercles (vs. smooth) and glabrous (vs. pubescent) stamens. The pollen grains of the new species are 23.9±3.09 (20.8–27.0)×22.0±1.80 (20.4–24.4) μm in size with reticulate exine ornamentation in equatorial area and foveolate in polar area. The chromosome number of the new species is 2n=72.
  • Cem VURAL, Servet ÖZCAN, Mikail AKBULUT
    J Syst Evol. 2009, 47(2): 168-172.
    Veronica erciyasdagi (M. A. Fischer) C. Vural comb. & stat. nov., previously regarded as a variety, is proposed as a new combination, based on the morphological characters and seed storage protein polymorphism presented in this study. In addition, information about the ecology and conservation status of Veronica erciyasdagi was reported. This taxon is endemic to central Anatolia, Turkey and is critically endangered.
  • Yang LI, Ya-Hui GAO, Song-Hui LU
    J Syst Evol. 2009, 47(2): 173-178.
    Protokeelia is described as a new and rare pennate diatom genus in China. Its valve includes two parts: ventral valve and dorsal valve. The ventral valve is more or less convex or concave. The raphe runs in a distinct elevated and thickened siliceous ridge. In the internal valve, beneath the raphe are fibulae or fibulae clusters which connect the ventral and dorsal valves. One species, P. spinifera Round & Basson, is observed in the water samples from a mangrove forest in Sai Kung, Hong Kong, China. Its main morphological features are described in this paper along with electron microscope (EM) photos. Morphological comparisons are also made among several allied species. In addition, a newly recorded species for China, Rhopalodia iriomotensis Kobayasi, Nagumo & Tanaka, is discussed here. Because several key features observed in this species resemble those of some Protokeelia species, we suggest that it may actually represent a Protokeelia species.
  • Yang LI, Ya-Hui GAO
    J Syst Evol. 2009, 47(2): 179-182.
    Marine nanoplanktonic diatoms have been frequently either underestimated or overlooked in phyto-plankton investigations due to their small size (2–20 μm), which allows most of them to pass through a regular phytoplankton net of 70-μm pore size. For nanoplanktonic diatom classification, water samples (each 2000 mL) were collected from several representative sea areas of Chinese coast from May 2002 to May 2006. Pelagodictyon Clarke was identified as a newly recorded nanodiatom genus for China under transmission electron microscope (TEM). This genus is characterized by the delicate structure of the valve face. The striae are seen to be formed by ribs with cross-ribs (frets) and the intervening spaces are occupied by polygonal cribra situated much close to the exterior face of the valve. Just one species was found, i.e., P. tenue Clarke. Detailed description of the taxonomic characteristics with TEM photographs of this species and its ecological habitat and distribution are given in this paper. Morphological characteristics comparisons among several resembling genera were discussed.