336 research outputs found

    Circumscription and phylogeny of the Laurales

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    The order Laurales comprises a few indisputed core constituents, namely Gomortegaceae, Hernandiaceae, Lauraceae, and Monimiaceae sensu lato, and an equal number of families that have recently been included in, or excluded from, the order, namely Amborellaceae, Calycanthaceae, Chloranthaceae, Idiospermaceae, and Trimeniaceae. In addition, the circumscription of the second largest family in the order, the Monimiaceae, has been problematic. I conducted two analyses, one on 82 rbcL sequences representing all putative Laurales and major lineages of basal angiosperms to clarify the composition of the order and to determine the relationships of the controversal families, and the other on a concatenated matrix of sequences from 28 taxa and six plastid genome regions (rbcL, rpl16, trnT-trnL, trnL-trnF, atpB-rbcL, and psbA-trnH) that together yielded 898 parsimony-informative characters. Fifteen morphological characters that play a key role in the evolution and classification of Laurales were analyzed on the most parsimonious molecular trees as well as being included directly in the analysis in a total evidence approach. The resulting trees strongly support the monophyly of the core Laurales (as listed above) plus Calycanthaceae and Idiospermaceae. Trimeniaceae form a clade with Illiciaceae, Schisandraceae, and Austrobaileyaceae, whereas Amborellaceae and Chloranthaceae represent isolated clades that cannot be placed securely based on rbcL alone. Within Laurales, the deepest split is between Calycanthaceae (including Idiospermaceae) and the remaining six families, which in turn form two clades, the Siparunaceae (Atherospermataceae-Gomortegaceae) and the Hernandiaceae (Monimiaceae s.str. [sensu stricto]-Lauraceae). Monimiaceae clearly are polyphyletic as long as they include Atherospermataceae and Siparunaceae. Several morphological character state changes are congruent with the molecular tree: (1) Calycanthaceae have disulculate tectate-columellate pollen, while their sister clade has inaperturate thin-exined pollen, with the exception of Atherospermataceae, which have columellate but meridionosulcate or disulcate pollen. (2) Calycanthaceae have two ventral ovules while their sister clade has solitary ovules. Within this sister clade, the Hernandiaceae (Lauraceae-Monimiaceae) have apical ovules, while the Siparunaceae (Atherospermataceae-Gomortegaceae) are inferred to ancestrally have basal ovules, a condition lost in Gomortega, the only lauralean genus with a syncarpous ovary. (3) Calycanthaceae lack floral nectaries (except for isolated nectarogeneous fields on the inner tepals), while their sister clade ancestrally has paired nectar glands on the filaments. Filament glands were independently lost in higher Monimiaceae and in Siparunaceae concomitant with pollinator changes away from nectar-foraging flies and bees to non-nectar feeding beetles and gall midges. (4) Disporangiate stamens with anthers dehiscing by two apically hinged valves are ancestral in Siparunaceae-(Atherospermataceae- Gomortegaceae) and evolved independently within Hernandiaceae and Lauraceae. Depending on the correct placement of Calycanthaceae-like fossil flowers, tetrasporangiate anthers with valvate dehiscence (with the valves laterally hinged) may be ancestral in Laurales and lost in modern Calycanthaceae and Monimiaceae

    Plant dispersal across the tropical Atlantic by wind and sea currents

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    This review brings together evidence on the monophyly and ages of angiosperm lineages ranging across the tropical Atlantic with data on the direction, strength, and speed of sea currents and wind jets across that ocean. Mainly for pragmatic reasons (data availability), the focus is on genera, which introduces a rank-based constraint into the analysis. However, trans-Atlantic disjunctions at the genus level seemed more likely to be attributable to long-distance dispersal than those involving families or species; family-level disjunctions often may date back to the breakup of Africa and South America, and species-level disjunctions often may be anthropogenic. At least 110 genera (listed in this article) contain species on both sides of the tropical Atlantic. Molecular phylogenies and age estimates from molecular clocks are available for 11 disjunct genera, tribes, and species. Inferred directions and modes of dispersal can be related parsimoniously to water currents between Africa and South America and to exceptional westerly winds blowing from northeastern Brazil to northwest Africa. Based on diaspore morphology and inferred dispersal biology in the 110 genera, trans-Atlantic dispersal by water (in both directions) appears more common than dispersal by wind or on birds. Wind dispersal appears to have occurred in the direction from South America to West Africa but rarely in the opposite direction

    New Species of Siparuna (Siparunaceae) IV

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    A new species of Siparuna (Siparunaceae), S. ficoides, is described, illustrated, and placed in a phylogenetic context based on morphological and DNA sequence data. The species, which is a monoecious subcanopy tree, is known from three collections made near Manaus, Brazil (two from the same tree), and one in the state of Bolivar, Venezuela.Se describe y se ilustra una nueva especie de Siparuna (Siparunaceae), S. ficoides, ademas se la ubica en un contexto filogenetico basado en datos morfologicos y en sequencias de DNA. Esta nueva especie es un arbol monoico de subdosel, de la cual se han registrado tres colecciones cerca de Manaos, Brasil (dos del mismo arbol) y una coleccion en el Estadod e Bolivar, Venezuela

    New species and new combinations in Sonerila and Phyllagathis (Melastomataceae) from Thailand

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    While revising the Melastomataceae for the Flora of Thailand, we discovered two new species of Sonerila, as well as the need for transferring two species of Tylanthera endemic to Thailand into Phyllagathis. Sonerila urceolata and S. loeiensis are endemic to the southeast and the northeast of Thailand, respectively. The first is allied to the widespread S. erecta Jack, from which it differs mainly in the strongly urceolate capsule and the sessile fruit placenta; the second is distinguished from other acaulescent species of Sonerila by its extremely long-petiolate large leaves and long-pedunculate inflorescence. The new combinations, Phyllagathis tuberosa (Hansen) Cellinese & Renner and P. siamensis Cellinese & Renner nom. nov., are made because both taxa lie inside the morphologic and phylogenetic bounds of Phyllagathis

    New Species of Siparuna (Siparunaceae) III

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    Three new species of Siparuna (Siparunaceae) are described, illustrated, and placed in a phylogenetic context: S. gentryana from western Ecuador and adjacent Colombia, S. lozaniana from the western Andes in Colombia, and S. vasqueziana from Amazonian Peru. In addition, Siparuna calantha from the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, originally described by Janet Perkins as a variety of a Mexican entity, is raised to species rank because its broader leaves and more numerous carpels readily distinguish it from its apparent closest relative, a species from the western Colombian Andes. Each of the species is known from several collections, which allowed the secure matching of sexual morphs in the three that are dioecious

    Coccinia intermedia

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    Nuclear and plastid sequences from two individuals of a suspected new species of Coccinia from West Africa were added to an available molecular phylogeny for the remaining 27 species of the genus. Phylogenetic analyses of these data indicate the new species' monophyletic status and closest relatives. Based on four fertile collections, we here describe and illustrate Coccinia intermedia Holstein. We also provide a key to the Coccinia species of West Africa and map their distributions

    Resurrection of the genus Staphisagria J. Hill, sister to all the other Delphinieae (Ranunculaceae)

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    Molecular sequence data show that the three species of Delphinium subg. Staphisagria (J. Hill) Peterm. form the sister clade to Aconitum L., Aconitella Spach, Consolida (DC.) S.F. Gray, and all remaining species of Delphinium L. To account for this finding we resurrect Staphisagria J. Hill (1756). Names in Staphisagria are available for two of the species. We here make the required new combination for the third species, Staphisagria picta (Willd.) F. Jabbour, provide a key to the species, and illustrate one of them

    Molecular phylogenetics of Melastomataceae and Memecylaceae

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    Melastomataceae are among the most abundant and diversified groups of plants throughout the tropics, but their intrafamily relationships and morphological evolution are poorly understood. Here we report the results of parsimony and maximum likelihood (ML) analyses of cpDNA sequences from the rbcL and ndhF genes and the rpl16 intron, generated for eight outgroups (Crypteroniaceae, Alzateaceae, Rhynchocalycaceae, Oliniaceae, Penaeaceae, Myrtaceae, and Onagraceae) and 54 species of melastomes. The sample represents 42 of the family’s currently recognized ~150 genera, the 13 traditional tribes, and the three subfamilies, Astronioideae, Melastomatoideae, and Memecyloideae (= Memecylaceae DC.). Parsimony and ML yield congruent topologies that place Memecylaceae as sister to Melastomataceae. Pternandra, a Southeast Asian genus of 15 species of which five were sampled, is the firstbranching Melastomataceae. This placement has low bootstrap support (72%), but agrees with morphological treatments that placed Pternandra in Melastomatacaeae because of its acrodromal leaf venation, usually ranked as a tribe or subfamily. The interxylary phloem islands found in Memecylaceae and Pternandra, but not most other Melastomataceae, likely evolved in parallel because Pternandra resembles Melastomataceae in its other wood characters. A newly discovered plesiomorphic character in Pternandra, also present in Memecylaceae, is a fibrous anther endothecium. Higher Melastomataceae lack an endothecium as do the closest relatives of Melastomataceae and Memecylaceae. The next deepest split is between Astronieae, with anthers opening by slits, and all remaining Melastomataceae, which have anthers opening by pores. Within the latter, several generic groups, corresponding to traditional tribes, receive solid statistical support, but relationships among them, with one exception, are different from anything predicted on the basis of morphological data. Thus, Miconieae and Merianieae are sister groups, and both are sister to a trichotomy of Bertolonieae, Microlicieae + Melastomeae, and Dissochaeteae + Blakeeae. Sonerileae/Oxysporeae are nested within Dissochaeteae, Rhexieae within Melastomeae, and African and Asian Melastomeae within neotropical Melastomeae. These findings have profound implications for our understanding of melastome morphological evolution (and biogeography), implying, for example, that berries evolved from capsules minimally four times, stamen connectives went from dorsally enlarged to basal/ventrally enlarged, and loss of an endothecium preceded poricidal dehiscence

    The evolution of Cayaponia (Cucurbitaceae)

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    Premise of the study: The Cucurbitaceae genus Cayaponia comprises ∼60 species that occur from Uruguay to the southern United States and the Caribbean; C. africana occurs in West Africa and on Madagascar. Pollination is by bees or bats, raising the question of the evolutionary direction and frequency of pollinator shifts. Studies that investigated such shifts in other clades have suggested that bat pollination might be an evolutionary end point. Methods: Plastid and nuclear DNA sequences were obtained for 50 accessions representing 30 species of Cayaponia and close relatives, and analyses were carried out to test monophyly, infer divergence times, and reconstruct ancestral states for habitat preferences and pollination modes. Key results: The phylogeny shows that Cayaponia is monophyletic as long as Selysia (a genus with four species from Central and South America) is included. The required nomenclatural transfers are made in this paper. African and Madagascan accessions of C. africana form a clade that is part of a polytomy with Caribbean and South American species, and the inferred divergence time of 2–5 Ma implies a transoceanic dispersal event from the New World to Africa. The ancestral state reconstructions suggest that Cayaponia originated in tropical forests from where open savannas were reached several times and that bee pollination arose from bat pollination, roughly concomitant with the shifts from forests to savanna habitats. Conclusions: Cayaponia provides the first example of evolutionary transitions from bat to bee pollination as well as another instance of transoceanic dispersal from the New World to Africa
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