Hybridization and polyploidization are now recognized as major phenomena in the evolution of plants, promoting genetic diversity, adaptive radiation and speciation. Modern molecular techniques have recently provided evidence that allopolyploidy can induce several types of genetic and epigenetic events that are of critical importance for the evolutionary success of hybrids: (1) chromosomal rearrangements within one or both parental genomes contribute toward proper meiotic pairing and isolation of the hybrid from its progenitors; (2) demethylation and activation of dormant transposable elements may trigger insertional mutagenesis and changes in local patterns of gene expression, facilitating rapid genomic reorganisation; (3) rapid and reproducible loss of low copy DNA sequence appears to result in further differentiation of homoeologous chromosomes; and (4) organ-specific up- or down-regulation of one of the duplicated genes, resulting in unequal expression or silencing one copy. All these alterations also have the potential, while stabilizing allopolyploid genomes, to produce novel expression patterns and new phenotypes, which together with increased heterozygosity and gene redundancy might confer on hybrids an elevated evolutionary potential, with effects at scales ranging from molecular to ecological. Although important advances have been made in understanding genomic responses to allopolyploidization, further insights are still expected to be gained in the near future, such as the direction and nature of the diploidization process, functional relevance of gene expression alterations, molecular mechanisms that result in adaptation to different ecologies/habitats, and ecological and evolutionary implications of recurrent polyploidization.
Almost all systematic treatments agree that Calla is a puzzling case, being a highly autapomorphic taxon with obscure relationships. In molecular-based classifications the variable placements of Calla within Aroideae conflict strongly with those in morphologically and anatomically based systematic classifications, which treat the genus as a subfamily (Calloideae) of its own. We studied the pollen morphology and ultrastructure of Calla by light and electron microscopy, and mapped the relevant pollen characters as well as some flower characters to the proposed placements of Calla within the Araceae as indicated in the various molecular phylogenies. Calla pollen is extraordinary within the entire Araceae. Pollen grains are small, and basically disulcate or with a ring-like aperture. The ornamentation is psilate to perforate, and the pollen wall consists of a sporopolleninous tectate-columellate exine. These pollen characters are shared with those of several earlier-diverging aroid taxa, especially with those of subfamily Zamioculcadoideae, whereas pollen characters in members of subfamily Aroideae deviate significantly. These findings are in accordance with other floral characters. Therefore, we propose that Calla is best placed in a transition zone between either subfamily Zamioculcadoideae (Stylochaeton clade) and subfamily Aroideae (Aroideae clade) or between subfamily Zamioculcadoideae (Stylochaeton clade) and subfamily Lasioideae.
The Ranunculus auricomus complex is an interesting model system for studying the evolution and diversity of apomictic polyploid complexes. It comprises hundreds of agamospecies, usually referred to two distinct morphotypes (traditionally named "R. auricomus" and "R. cassubicus") which are connected by several intermediate forms. Here we try to elucidate the evolution of apomictic "cassubicus" morphotypes and we test criteria for different classification concepts by combining the information of molecular phylogenetic, morphological, karyological and population genetic data (AFLPs, amplified fragment length polymorphism). Phylogenetic analysis based on sequences of the nrDNA ITS and plastid data (matK, trnk, psbJ-psbA) suggest a deep split between the diploid sexual species R. notabilis ("auricomus" morphotype) from the closely related allopatric taxa R. cassubicifolius and R. carpaticola ("cassubicus"). The apomictic "cassubicus" morphotypes are not monophyletic, as one, R. hungaricus, groups with R. notabilis, which may be due to hybrid origin. Morphometric studies and ploidy level determinations via Feulgen densitometry show a transition from 4x R. hungaricus to the 6x apomictic hybrid derivatives of R. cassubicifolius and R. carpaticola. In two accessions, AFLPs and flow cytometric data suggest local gene flow among different apomictic polyploid morphotypes. Frequent facultative sexuality of apomicts may increase genetic diversity by continuous formation of new cytotypes, local hybridization and introgression, which obstructs the fixation of distinct agamospecies. We conclude that "R. cassubicus" and "R. auricomus" cannot be regarded as species but should be treated as either informal groups, or as (notho)taxa at the sectional level. To reflect the different evolutionary processes involved, we propose a separate classification of the sexual species, R. notabilis and the closely related species pair R. cassubicifolius and R. carpaticola. Based on these well-defined biological species, the apomictic biotypes can be classified as nothotaxa.
The selection of a DNA barcode in plants has been impeded in part due to the relatively low rates of nucleotide substitution observed at the most accessible plastid markers. However, the absence of consensus also reflects a lack of standards for comparing potential barcode markers. While many publications have suggested a host of plant DNA barcodes, the studies cannot be readily compared with each other through any quantitative or statistical parameter, partly because they put forward no single compelling rationale relevant to the adoption of a DNA barcode in plants. Here, we argue that the efficacy of any particular plant DNA barcode selection should reflect the anticipated performance of the resulting barcode database in assignment of a query sequence to species. While legitimate scientific disagreement exists over the criteria relevant to "database performance", the notion gives a unifying rationale for prioritizing selection criteria. Accordingly, we suggest a measure of barcode efficacy based on the rationale of database performance, "the probability of correct identification" (PCI). Moreover, the definition of PCI is left flexible enough to handle most of the scientific disagreement over how to best evaluate DNA barcodes. Finally, we consider how different types of barcodes might require different methods of analysis and database design and indicate how the analysis might affect the selection of the most broadly effective barcode for land plants.
A review of the development of Lamarck's ideas on biological systematics with special reference to the origin and development of his concept of organic evolution. Lamarck's development towards biological systematics is traced through his early botanical and geological writings and related to the gradual change in his scientific outlook from a static and essentialist view of nature towards a dynamic and positivist concept of the life sciences as a special discipline. This development is seen against the background of the general cultural developments during the course of his life.
Four opportunities in botanical history obtain: pressing the search for records, saving historically valuable materials before they are lost, compiling informational retrieval aids, and writing interpretive biographies and social histories. Details of these opportunities are discussed with comments on the state of our knowledge and the location of materials.
The development of botany in the tropics falls into four periods: (i) the age of the pioneer botanical explorers, which extended into the 19th century, (ii) the age from then to the First World War in which the plant resources of the tropics were developed mainly by colonial governments, (iii) the period between the two World Wars when improved hygiene and transport opened up new possibilities for scientific work in tropical countries and (iv) the present period which began at the end of the Second World War, in which even greater facilities for botanical research in the tropics have been accompanied by a continually accelerating destruction of the tropical biota. The present is therefore the best moment there will ever be for studying tropical botany.
Cneorum trimerum (Urban) Chodat is only known from the type specimen collected in 1861 in eastern Cuba. The species has sometimes been regarded as a synonym of C. tricoccon L., which is otherwise confined to the Mediterranean. As no other Cneorum specimens are known from Cuba, the specimen is a mysterious finding with a disputed taxonomic rank. The goal of this study is to clarify the status of the Cuban specimen using molecular and wood anatomical data. We succeeded in extracting DNA out of the 150 year old type specimen in our ancient-DNA lab and amplified two chloroplast markers (atpB, trnL-trnF) and one nuclear marker (ITS). Comparison of the sequence data with several sequences from C. tricoccon clearly suggests inclusion of the Cuban specimen into the latter species; wood anatomical features confirm the molecular results. The transatlantic distribution of C. tricoccon is probably the result of an introduction in Cuba by humans.
The Macaronesian Islands comprise the Atlantic archipelagos of Azores, Madeira, Selvagens, Canaries and Cape Verde. These islands were a major focus for plant exploration during the 17th and 18th centuries. Sir Hans Sloane (1660-1753), one of the most important patrons and sponsors of natural sciences and botanical research, visited Madeira on his way to Jamaica in 1687. Although he stayed in Madeira for only three days, he collected plant specimens of 38 taxa (including one brown alga) and made important observations concerning the flora and fauna of Madeira from near Funchal. Sixty-six polynomial names of plants from the island are recorded in Sloane's published work along with 18 copperplate engravings, ostensibly from Madeira, although our study shows that only thirteen of them are of taxa occurring on the island. Fourteen of the sixty-six polynomials reported by Sloane relate to Macaronesian endemic taxa, six of them restricted to Madeira. Our study shows that nine of the fifteen polynomials that he putatively recorded for Madeira and/or the Antilles or for which he was unsure of their origin are from the West Indies and do not occur on this Macaronesian island. Two of the taxa that are listed for Madeira and the Caribbean Islands were likely to be present in both insular systems. Although there is evidence of earlier botanical explorations in Macaronesia, the herbarium collections made by Sloane in Madeira represent the earliest documented plant hunting expedition to Macaronesia, and Sir Hans Sloane can be considered as one of the pioneers of botanical exploration in these Atlantic Islands. Sloane's records provide an early floristic study of a diverse island flora.
The name Cotoneaster tomentosus and its basionym Mespilus tomentosa are shown to be illegitimate because when published both included the earlier legitimate name, M. orientalis. The original circumscription of M. coccinea was based mostly on the material ofC. tomentosus with misadditions ofC. niger andC. integerrimus s. l. Fruit characters of the latter taxon pro vided the species epithet. The previous intended lectotypes of M. orientalis and M. coccinea are superseded because they were selected from non-original material; the new lectotypes are designated here. The history of Pál Kitaibel's material of Cotoneaster is traced, and its identity is established. Cotoneaster coccineus is the earliest name available for the red-fruited cotoneaster with hairy hypanthia native in Europe and would have to be adopted if M. tomentosa is not conserved against M. orientalis.
Efforts of humans to understand the living world have involved observing and describing life forms, followed by interpreting that information and ordering it hierarchically for efficient storage, retrieval, and prediction. All human societies have done this. In an historical context, the Greeks and Romans emphasized observations. In the Age of the Herbalists (1470-1670), observations were refined, descriptions were elaborated, and botanical illustrations were perfected to complement the descriptions. The early classifiers emphasized development of an hierarchy of information. Linnaeus continued this trend and made the hierarchy more stable and consistent, but he relied mainly on his sexual system of classification, which greatly reduced the predictive quality of the constructed classifications. Jussieu in the late 18th century and others in the early 19th century focused more on increasing the information content of classifications. Darwin had little impact on observation, description, and ordering of information about organisms, but he provided a new interpretation of mechanisms for explaining relationships. Phenetics and cladistics stressed quantitative observations and descriptions, the latter also emphasizing evolutionary relationships. A paradigm is a way of conceptualizing about some portion of the world, i.e., a philosophical or theoretical framework. During this long period of more than two millennia, therefore, obviously no paradigm shift has occurred regarding observation and description of diversity. As evolutionary insights are not needed for the process of classification, these can only relate to the interpretation of relationships. Post-Darwinian phylogenetic systems interpreted the hierarchy of nature in evolutionary terms, and this has continued to the present day. From a broad perspective, therefore, the paradigm of classification in systematic biology has also never really changed. Different approaches simply reflect varying attempts to observe, describe, and order information about organisms.
The system of binomial nomenclature and wider taxonomic paradigm forged by Carolus Linnaeus in the 18th century came from his original approach to understanding the natural world. It was also a product of environmental, economic, social, cultural, political and theological influences of the time. For Linnaeus the identification, naming and classification of different kinds of animals, plants, diseases, fossils and rocks had practical as well as theoretical importance. In his life and work he clearly demonstrates the 'scientific approach' including careful information gathering, exploration, empiricism, dissection, accurate observations and published descriptions. There is an inspirational use of morphological characters in comparative diagnoses, a requirement for material evidence to support hypotheses and the systematic and hierarchical organisation of knowledge. However, techniques for specimen preservation and analysis were limited and sample sizes too small to properly characterise wild populations. Thus he bequeathed artificial and 'typological' more than biological concepts determined by form and pattern rather than process. Species and genera were regarded as fixed, objective entities. This is sometimes associated with the supposedly stultifying effects of Aristotelian essentialism on Linnaean and later taxonomy. 'Natural' classification, as far as developed, was not phyletic but, instead, reflected Wolffianism, a modified creationist doctrine. Nonetheless, Linnaeus was the first to formally recognise the close affinity between humans and primates, a controversial idea later fully developed by Charles Darwin. Even so, Linnaeus did not always distinguish between mythological versus real creatures and incredible versus credible hypotheses. His understanding of 'cause and effect' was circumscribed by prevailing Lutheran theology and Cartesian mechanistic philosophy. Linnaeus was as much a working physician, agriculturalist and land surveyor as he was a taxonomist. Contemporary economic biology and biotechnology are anticipated in his animal and plant breeding and pearl culturing experiments. In the great body of Linnaeus' letters, manuscripts and books are discernable foundations for many other later disciplines. These include: anthropology, biogeography, bioinformatics, biomechanics, biological control, conservation, ecology, epidemiology, Darwinian evolution, ethnography, medical diagnostics, microbiology, palaeontology, pharmacology and phylogenetic systematics.
Notable in the plant collection of the Sessé and Mociño Herbarium of the Royal Botanical Expedition to New Spain, housed in the Royal Botanical Garden in Madrid, are plants from the Lesser Antilles that Hans West gave to Martín de Sessé as a result of their friendship following a meeting in 1797 in Puerto Rico. Some are type specimens and perhaps only available in this herbarium.
Neotypes are proposed for the names of ten species of American plants that Linnaeus based in whole or in part on descriptions in Loefling's Iter Hispanicum: Allionia incarnata, Allionia violacea, Ayenia tomentosa, Byttneria scabra, Krameria ixine, Lecythis ollaria, Moniera trifolia, Viola arborea, Viola calceolaria, and Viola oppositifolia. Lectotypes are proposed for the names of six species of American plants that Linnaeus based in whole or in part on descriptions in the same work: Ayenia magna, Cecropia peltata, Ellisia acuta, Jussiaea pubescens, Loranthus occidentalis, and Spermacoce strigosa. A neotype also is proposed for a Jacquin name, Hybanthus havanensis, which Linnaeus renamed as Viola hybanthus. We also argue that Laetia americana is neotypified by the type applied to the illegitimate name Laetia apetala.
Using the French botanist Henri Cassini's work as an example, the complex relationship between characters, groups and relationships in the period 1770-1850 is explored. Cassini thought that classifications should be natural and that groups were to be based on numerous characters, although they would be difficult to recognize and characterize. For the most part he saw relationships between organisms as two dimensional, with one group directly joining two or more other groups. At the same time he asserted that the best way to think about affinities was as if they were linear, largely because this was most compatible with how he thought that the human mind worked. When he discussed relationships between individual plant parts he used words like type, analogy, and hypothesis that were rarely used when he discussed relationships between groups. In Cassini's writings it is difficult to connect his work on the analogies between plant parts with his ideas of affinities between groups. In the early nineteenth century zoologists in particular were developing various ways of thinking about organisms as being related indirectly, whether using abstract types or the taxonomic hierarchy to structure relationships. Similarly, Darwin's discussion of affinities between groups was separate from that on homologies between particular structures, but he saw relationships as being like a tree, with extant taxa being related indirectly by their ancestors.
Juan Isern collected ca. 25,000 plant specimens during the Pacific Scientific Commission to South America between 1862 and 1866, but unfortunately he died the same year the expedition returned to Spain. In Chile, Isern exchanged specimens with Philippi, who later described three new species based on those collections which are all deposited at SGO. In the early 1930s, José Cuatrecasas worked intensively with the Isern collections at MA, where most of Isern's South American specimens are deposited. Cuatrecasas, Trelease, Sleumer, Standley and Yuncker described several new species and other taxa using Isern collections as type material. A total of 47 species, 21 varieties and 7 forms were described in 9 families, principally in the Asteraceae, Piperaceae and Gesneriaceae based on Isern collections. Here, the nomenclature of all Isern type specimens is studied for these 75 names. Lectotype specimens for the names of four species, three varieties and five forms described by Cuatrecasas and one species described by Trelease are designated in the present paper.
Hsen-Hsu Hu (1894-1968), an influential Chinese scientist, was the founder of modern plant taxonomy in China. His career and later status have never been fully reported outside China, even though he passed away more than thirty-seven years ago. This memorial paper describes his life, his major botanical contributions, and his turbulent final years.
The noeggerathialean fossil names Yuania H.C. Sze and Russellites Mamay are shown to be synonymous, with the latter being the junior synonym of the former. Examination and re-illustration of the type material of both Yuania and Russellites shows that they are indistinguishable taxonomically. Both sets of material have pinnules with clasping bases and concave apices in which the veins converge but do not anastomose. Sze's original description of Yuania was incorrect in indicating that the leaves were petiolate and that the veins converged. Yuania may be the first plant taxon identified in the Permian floras of China and North America with vegetative and reproductive organs represented on both continents.
In 1956, Louis O. Williams transferred type specimens of Central American and Mexican plants that had been deposited in the Escuela Agrícola Panamericana (EAP), Honduras to the U.S. National Herbarium (US), Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., U.S.A. With only a few exceptions, the specimens typified names of taxa that had been described by Williams and his colleagues in Honduras, who had stated in their publications (numerous articles in the scientific serial Ceiba and the book The Rain Forests of Golfo Dulce) that the “types (i.e., holotypes) were deposited in EAP. This transfer, which was neither publicly announced nor otherwise previously well-documented, has led to confusion regarding the present location of the holotypes of many names. Details regarding Williams's transaction and an accounting of the 195 collections and 219 specimens involved are presented.
The Flora Reipublicae Popularis Sinicae (FRPS) is one of the largest floristic projects in the world. The final product, 80 volumes in 126 parts, represents work by four generations of Chinese plant taxonomists during 45 years (1959-2004) and treats 31,180 species (300 families, 3,434 genera) on over 40,000 pages. More than half of the species (54%) are endemic to China. This monumental flora has not yet been thoroughly reviewed. The history of the project is described with comments on outline, statistics, largest families and genera, names of authors and editors, quality, species concept, new taxa, specimens, and proofing and indexing.
This paper uses information from the 2,875 angiosperm species described from Brazil between the years 1990 and 2006 to provide insights into the present status of botanical collections and taxonomic research in this country. The analysis shows that approximately one new species is described every two days, mostly from the Atlantic rainforest and cerrado biomes. Most species described belong to Orchidaceae (297 species), Fabaceae (288), Bromeliaceae (280), Asteraceae (166) or Poaceae (126). The average number of collections per square kilometer in Brazil is 0.59, a number well below with the ideal index of three collections per square kilometer and indicates a need for more intensive collection efforts, especially in view of the land-use pressures causing loss of vegetational types before their floristic composition is known. We conclude that reaching an adequate knowledge of the Brazilian flora is a goal that can only be achieved through intensive investment in improving scientific collections and training human resources.
A search for Fries's Scleromyceti Sueciae at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia (PH) was initiated following the receipt of a specimen annotated ''Suec. Fr.'' from the Schweinitz Herbarium. Study of the collection of fungi at PH revealed 340 similarly annotated specimens, 76 printed labels from Fascicles 1-6, and 8 of the first edition of the Scleromyceti Sueciae, and a page of the index from Decade XXXI of Fascicle 9. In many cases, sheets from this exsiccata were folded inward to form packets that enclosed both the specimen and the printed label. This paper also reports the discovery of 21 specimens from the Deutschlands Schwämme at PH.
The limit for successful DNA extraction was tested by amplification and sequencing of an over 200-year-old herbarium specimen collected by Adam Afzelius, a student of Carl Linnaeus. We amplified and sequenced a 800-bp region between 16S ribosomal DNA and the 3′ part of the trnI gene (16S-trnI) in the chloroplast genome of Phaulopsis talbotii S. Moore (Acanthaceae). To test the replicability and to control for contamination the procedure was performed in sealed vials and with negative PCR controls. The procedure was also repeated in a separate laboratory. In addition, the chloroplast rpl16 intron was successfully amplified and sequenced and the rps16 intron amplified. Sequences of taxa closely related to Acanthaceae were found to be most similar to the produced sequences. The results suggest that molecular investigations of other 18th century botanical collections are feasible and that molecular methods could be employed for comparative studies to extant plant collections. An important application would be to identify descendants or clones of Linnaean lectotypes by comparing DNA from these with potentially remnant plants from Linnaeus' cultivations.
We maintain that a review of the way in which votes that can be cast to influence the amendment of the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (ICBN) are allocated is overdue. Although there will no doubt be resistance to proposed changes that may emanate from such a review, a more representative system of vote allocation to herbaria, among other things, will considerably enhance the credibility and robustness of the voting system. A rebuttal addressing two criteria we suggest as examples of what could be used as part of a review to make the voting system more representative was recently published by Applequist & al. It is regrettable that in the face of unambiguous statistics that show the inadequacy of the current ICBN amendment voting system, the need for change is not embraced with due urgency. A fear of power sharing and decentralization may well be the root cause.
This paper briefly reports on the developments surrounding the Acacia name conservation controversy since the Nomenclature Section meeting at the Seventeenth International Botanical Congress at Vienna in 2005. Actions taken at Vienna led to the listing of Acacia Mill. with a conserved type in Appendix III (p. 286) of the current printed version of the International code of botanical nomenclature. While decisions taken at Nomenclature Sections generally tend to resolve nomenclatural disputes, the actions taken in Vienna with regard to Acacia—i.e., treating the proposal to conserve the name Acacia with a conserved type as approved even though the majority of the votes cast were opposed to the proposal—has only resulted in increased controversy. Today, the Acacia listing in the Code continues to be met with considerable resistance from the global plant taxonomic community and beyond. We believe the “minority rule approach used in Vienna was contrary to the procedural rules established in Vienna. As a result, an objection to the acceptance of the Vienna Code as currently printed with the Acacia listing will be raised at the Nomenclature Section meeting during the Eighteenth International Botanical Congress in Melbourne in 2011. A procedure is outlined for handling this objection that we hope will allow the botanical community to finally resolve this matter.
The current edition of the International code of botanical nomenclature (Vienna Code) accepts cultures of fungi and algae as types provided that they are preserved in a metabolically inactive state. In this article the authors outline a procedure for cryopreserving type cultures at ultra-low temperatures (<−135°C), thus ensuring that the material is held in a stable, metabolically inactive state. This procedure would allow direct access to live ex-type cultures, facilitating traditional research as well as molecular, metabolomic and proteomic studies.
The retroactive Art. 30.5 in the Vienna Code published in 2006 is discussed with respect to “internal evidence for the intention of achieving effective publication. In the case of retroactive application of this article, the consideration of “external evidence is also proposed.
DNA barcodes have been successfully applied to a limited number of animal groups with the application of the mitochondrial gene, cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1. Recently two DNA regions, the plastid trnH-psbA spacer and nuclear ribosomal ITS region, have been shown to have potential as an identification barcode for land plants, although with some significant drawbacks. The ideal barcode should be relatively short in length (∼700 bp), more variable between than within species, and easily amplifiable with universal primers. Building on current success, ongoing investigations are searching for the best barcode to apply to all land plants. Once established, a plant barcode may be effectively used in biodiversity inventories, conservation assessments, and applied forensic investigations. Advances in sequencing technology and the completion of the DNA barcode library have the potential to provide the public with increased access to information about the natural world.
In an effort to obtain a solid and balanced approximation of global fern phylogeny to serve as a tool for addressing large-scale evolutionary questions, we assembled and analyzed the most inclusive molecular dataset for leptosporangiate ferns to date. Three plastid genes (rbcL, atpB, atpA), totaling more than 4,000 bp, were sequenced for each of 400 leptosporangiate fern species (selected using a proportional sampling approach) and five outgroups. Maximum likelihood analysis of these data yielded an especially robust phylogeny: 80% of the nodes were supported by a maximum likelihood bootstrap percentage ≥ 70. The scope of our analysis provides unprecedented insight into overall fern relationships, not only delivering additional support for the deepest leptosporangiate divergences, but also uncovering the composition of more recently emerging clades and their relationships to one another.
Microsatellites are robust molecular markers for exploring genetic variability in all organisms, now widely used in plant systematics and evolutionary biology. It is sometimes a drawback, however, that de novo isolation and characterization to obtain working primers for as yet unexamined species are prohibitively time-consuming. Recently, high-throughput sequencing technologies have had a significant impact on many different types of genomic research; they also provide new opportunities for locating microsatellites in non-model and not-previously-sequenced organisms. Here we report results of high-throughput sequencing to identify a large number of microsatellites from six distantly related angiosperm plant species (Acer pseudosieboldianum, Drimys confertifolia, Dystaenia takesimana, Hepatica nobilis var. japonica, Myrceugenia fernandeziana, Rhaphithamnus venustus). Using a combination of a total (non-enrichment) genomic library and small-scale pyrosequencing (1/8 of a PicoTiterPlate) with multiplexing option, we determined 2.57 to 6.23 Mbp of sequence (10,411 to 21,021 reads) in the genomes of the six species and identified 63 to 284 microsatellites that had flanking regions suitable for primer design; we also obtained 1 to 29 microsatellites located in the chloroplast genome. We tested PCR amplification, reproducibility, and level of polymorphism of 42 primer pairs for Acer pseudosieboldianum and 24 for another five species using eight individuals from two populations. As a result, between 46% and 83% of markers were clearly genotyped, and between 17% and 63% efficaciously detected polymorphisms within populations. This method is cost- and time-effective in comparison with traditional approaches involving cloning and sequencing.
The following nine generic names are recommended for conservation: Crataegus against Mespilus; Dasymaschalon against Pelticalyx; Eubotrys Nutt. against Eubotrys Raf.; Goniothalamus against Richella; Heteromeles to make legitimate; Mallotus against Trevia; Photinia with conserved type; Planchonella additionally against Iteiluma and Peuciluma; and Teesdalia to make legitimate. The following 13 specific names are also recommended for conservation: Acacia goetzei against A. andongensis; Achillea pannonica against A. seidlii; Alstroemeria presliana with conserved type; Dodecatheon jeffreyi against D. jeffreyanum; Echium laevigatum with conserved type; Eucalyptus camaldulensis with conserved type; Malus toringoides against Pyrus bhutanica; Potentilla bipinnatifida against P. normalis and P. missourica; and P. stolonifera against P. sprengeliana; Prunus serotina with conserved type.; Rosa virginiana Mill. against R. virginiana Herrm.; Sedum rupestre with conserved type; and Sisyrinchium bermudiana with conserved type. The following two names are not recommended for conservation: Acacia willardiana against Prosopis heterophylla; and Astrocaryum aculeatum with conserved type. The following 17 specific names are recommended for rejection under Art. 56: Alstroemeria albiflora; Amaryllis africana; Cephalanthera oregana; Colchicum tenorei and C. todaroi; Dodecatheon meadia var. puberulum; Epidendrum caninum; and E. trilabiatum Vell.; Festuca pannonica; Ficus taab; Fritillaria alba; and F. racemosa; Koeleria nitida; Orchis montana; Ornithogalum flavum; Potentilla dissecta and P. retusa. The following two names are not recommended for rejection under Art. 56: Acer pictum; and Aster bracteolatus. The following work is recommended to be added to App. VI (Opera utique oppressa): J. de A. Pinto da Silva, Diccionario de Botanica Brasilieira, 1873. As a result of reference under Art. 53.5, it is recommended that the following three pairs of names be treated as homonyms: Gymnoleima Decne. and Gymnolaema Benth. & Hook. f.; Calea L. and Calia Terán & Berlandier; and Fimbristylis breviculmis Boeck. and F. breviculma Govind. As a result of reference under Art. 32.4, it is recommended that Dipteryx oleifera Benth. be treated as validly published and that Cusparia Humboldt be treated as not validly published.
We investigated patterns of genetic variation within and among the eight extant populations of the genus Abies in the western Mediterranean Basin. Using six chloroplast microsatellite (cpSSR) loci, a total of 22 alleles and 34 haplotypes was found among 225 individuals. The analyzed populations showed high levels of genetic diversity (mean He=0.84). Two clearly separated main groups corresponding to the three Spanish and the five Moroccan populations, respectively, were distinguished. A phylogeographic signal was evident and a Mantel test revealed a strong positive correlation between geographic and genetic distances of the eight populations. Analysis of Molecular Variance (AMOVA) assigned 85% of the total genetic variation to differences between continents. Within each continent, populations were remarkably little differentiated with the exception of one highly divergent Moroccan stand; the origin of this divergence requires further investigation. Our results document a strong effect of the Strait of Gibraltar on Abies differentiation in this region, whereas the high diversity within and the low differentiation among populations on each side point to a certain level of pollen-mediated gene flow among the extant stands. On the other hand, our analysis indicates that the population formerly assigned to the species A. tazaotana is, in fact, genetically very close to most A. marocana stands. We discuss implications of the observed population structures for conservation and management of West Mediterranean Abies taxa.
Abies comprises ∼48 species with a disjunct distribution in the Northern Hemisphere. Despite the economic and ecological importance of the genus, phylogenetic relationships among the species remain unclear. The complete nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region was sequenced for 31 species of Abies and its outgroup Keteleeria to reconstruct the phylogeny of the genus. The results revealed three small subrepeats with a motif (5′-GGCCACCCTAGTC-3′), that is conserved across Pinaceae, and the 298 bp large subrepeats, specific to Abies occurring in all firs. Phylogenetic analysis of ITS recovered nine of the ten formerly recognized sections (sects. Abies, Amabilis, Balsamea, Bracteata, Grandis, Momi, Nobilis, Piceaster, Pseudopicea). The results suggest merging sect. Oiamel and Grandis. The monophyly of western North American species is suggested with robust support by ML and MP analysis. A close relationship between European and Asian species is also inferred, but with weak support.
In 1910 Houlbert validly published five names for wood morphogenera: Abietoxylon , Ambaroxylon , Cupressoxylon, Juniperoxylon and Taxoxylon. The material on which these five names were based has never been reviewed and was considered as lost. We located the repository of Houlbert's material, and had the opportunity to study original slides. However slides are lacking for two of these five morphogenera (Cupressoxylon, Juniperoxylon). We were able to determine which slides were used for the original illustrations for the remaining three genera and to choose lectotypes. Only short descriptiones generico-specifica were given by Houlbert for these names, without any details of characteristic features. Taxonomic reappraisal of the material on which the names are based provided evidence that their systematic relationships are dubious since sample preservation is poor and Houlbert misinterpreted some crystallographic features as features of the wood structure. We therefore advise against the use of the names Abietoxylon, Ambaroxylon and Taxoxylon. From our observations and the original descriptions Houlbert's type samples for Abietoxylon, Cupressoxylon, Juniperoxylon and Taxoxylon very probably belong to a single morphogenus.
Relationships of the small austral genus Abrotanella are uncertain. It was previously included in the Anthemideae or more recently in the Senecioneae. We conducted a phylogenetic analysis of 39 accessions that included most species of Abrotanella and putative relatives including Blennosperma, Crocidium and Ischnea. These four genera have been considered to form subtribe Blennospermatinae. Our results suggest that the Blennospermatinae are polyphyletic; Blennosperma, Crocidium and Ischnea form a well-supported clade nested within the Senecioneae, while Abrotanella forms another well-supported clade that is distinct from these genera and its sister is not resolved. Molecular dating of Abrotanella suggests that the lineage initially diverged during the early Miocene. Secondary species radiations in Australasia and in southern South America that occurred 3 million years ago undoubtedly reflect long-distance dispersal, colonization and speciation. Both the ITS region and the 5' trnK/matK chloroplast DNA intron gave similar divergence estimates. The estimates were also robust to changes in the tree topology and to the different methods used to calculate divergence times.
For centuries, botanists have collected plant specimens across the Guianas (Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana). In this paper, we describe the construction of a comprehensive angiosperm specimen database for the Guianas and examine: (1) the historical accumulation of species and specimens; (2) the pattern of geographical expansion of collecting efforts; (3) the distribution of specimen records among families, genera, species, growth forms and countries. The cleaned database contained 168,487 specimen records belonging to 7146 species. The specimen records showed uneven distribution among families, genera, species, growth forms and countries. Although there was some species overlap between and among countries, unique species were collected in each country. Despite the high collecting efforts, many areas still remain under-collected.
The arguments towards resolving the Acacia nomenclatural controversy put forth by Thiele & al. (2011) are reviewed and rebutted. We argue that a truly pragmatic and, moreover, defensible and equitable alternative to accepting the retypification of Acacia Mill. with a conserved type would be to have the 2006 International Code of Botanical Nomenclature, excluding this retypification, serve as the basis for discussions at the Nomenclature Section of the Melbourne International Botanical Congress in 2011. We, and a large component of the international taxonomic community, and beyond, remain convinced that the minority rule voting procedure used at Vienna on Acacia was inappropriate, resulting in animosity that will without any doubt linger until this situation is rectified. Such a minority rule procedure has never in the history of Nomenclature Sections been implemented before. Exclusion of the Acacia retypification can be achieved through a democratic process by objecting to its inclusion when the printed (2006) Code comes up for adoption at the start of the Nomenclature Section. This is perfectly within the established process that has been used in past Section meetings. The integrity of the Code will suffer permanent damage if the retypification of Acacia Mill. with a conserved type is not removed from the ICBN, especially as it ended up there through a minority decision.
The conservation of Acacia with an Australian type has been perhaps the most controversial issue to have been dealt with under the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature in many years. Before, during and since the vote on the matter at the Seventeenth International Botanical Congress in Vienna, strong opinions have been expressed in print, on the web and in the popular media. Opponents of the Vienna decision are currently focusing on details of the process by which the vote was conducted, rather than on the merits or otherwise of the original proposal. They have signalled an intention to challenge and to try to overturn the Vienna decision at the Melbourne Congress. We are a group of taxonomists, from a range of backgrounds and with a range of opinions on the original proposal, who believe that the Vienna process was fundamentally sound, and that continuance of this argument in its current form is damaging to the international nomenclatural consensus. We provide this paper as, we hope, an objective, non-partisan summary of the issue and conclude with the recommendation that the international taxonomic community should accept the retypification of Acacia and move on.
This note documents the events and conduct that led to the acceptance of Report 55 of the Permanent Committee for Spermatophyta concerning the conservation of Acacia Mill. with a new type. The procedures followed by the Nomenclature Section of the XVII th International Botanical Congress (IBC) held in Vienna, Austria, in July 2005, are also outlined and briefly described in accordance with the provisions of the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (ICBN) for dealing with committee reports. This controversial proposal to retypify Acacia Mill. from an African to an Australian type was accepted by the Committee for Spermatophyta, the General Committee, and the Nomenclature Section, a recommendation ratified by the final closing plenary session of the IBC. The ICBN emanating from the XVIIth IBC will include Acacia Mill., with a conserved type, in Appendix IIIA Nomina generica conservanda et rejicienda. For those who choose to follow the traditional classification system that applies the name Acacia in a broad sense to a heterogeneous assemblage of species comprising a number of subgenera, this decision holds no implications at generic level. However, should the alternative classification which segregates a broadly defined Acacia into a number of genera be followed, then the name Acacia would apply in a strict sense to the mainly Australian wattles (previously Acacia subg. Phyllodineae—now A. subg. Acacia—of the traditional system.)
The suggestion that the procedure by which the Nomenclature Section of the XVII International Botanical Congress in Vienna in 2005 approved the conservation of the name Acacia with A. penninervis as conserved type was “invalid and that as a result the conservation proposal was not approved by that Congress is demonstrated to be false. The corollary suggestion that the inclusion of Acacia as a conserved name in the Vienna Code might be questioned at the next Congress when that Code is proposed for ratification is consequently untenable and contrary to Art. 14.8 of the ICBN. An alternative procedure for those who feel that retaining A. penninervis as the type of Acacia will lead to disadvantageous nomenclatural changes is outlined. The authors acknowledge that the process for handling recommendations on conservation, especially by the Nomenclature Section, requires both clarification and improvement and they commit the Bureau of Nomenclature for the XVIII IBC to address this in co-operation with the General Committee and other interested parties.
We here document what happened in Melbourne, Australia, in July 2011, regarding the confirmation of the inclusion of Acacia Mill. with A. penninervis as its conserved type in the Vienna Code. The procedures followed by the Nomenclature Section of the XVIII International Botanical Congress (IBC) are outlined and briefly described as far as they pertain to Acacia. The 2005 outcome of the controversial proposal to retypify Acacia Mill. from an African to an Australian type was confirmed by the Nomenclature Section following the ratification of the 2006, Vienna, International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (ICBN or Code) including the entry for Acacia. This, and other, decisions of the Nomenclature Section were in turn ratified by the final closing plenary session of the IBC held on 30 July 2011. The now-effective Code (incidentally in the future the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants) emanating from the XVIII IBC, will therefore include Acacia, with a conserved type, in the Appendix dealing with "Nomina generica conservanda et rejicienda". If the traditional classification system is followed that applies the name Acacia in a broad sense to an assemblage of legume species comprising a number of subgenera, this decision holds no implications at generic rank. However, should the alternative classification which segregates a broadly defined Acacia into a number of genera be followed, then the name Acacia would apply in a strict sense to the mainly Australian wattles (formerly Acacia subg. Phyllodineae, now Acacia subg. Acacia).
Sequences of nuclear ribosomal DNA internal (ITS) and external (ETS) transcribed spacers were used to generate a phylogeny of Acacia Mill. s.str. (synonyms: Acacia subg. Phyllodineae (DC.) Seringe; Racosperma Mart.). This study included 109 exemplar taxa from all seven sections recognised in previous classifications, and represents the largest sampling of diversity for molecular phylogenetics of Acacia s.str. undertaken so far. Four main clades were identified from the combined dataset of ITS and ETS using parsimony and Bayesian analyses. Two of these clades consist mostly of uninerved phyllodinous taxa assigned to sect. Phyllodineae. One clade includes taxa related to A. victoriae and A. pyrifolia, and the second comprises taxa in the A. murrayana species group. These taxa occur predominantly in semi-arid and arid regions. Relationships also resolve the previously identified Pulchelloidea clade, which includes members of sects. Pulchellae, Alatae, Phyllodineae and Lycopodiifoliae. A large clade with limited phylogenetic resolution was also identified (the "p.u.b. clade"). This is an assemblage of plurinerved and uninerved phyllodinous taxa and also bi-pinnate taxa from sect. Botrycephalae. Clades are discussed with reference to morphological characters, and while some morphological states are correlated with clades, including seedling ontogeny, inflorescence and phyllode nerves, clear synapomorphies remain to be identified. Traditional classifications of Acacia s.str. are artificial and a preliminary informal classification based on phylogenetic relationships within Acacia s.str. is proposed.
We propose a once-off "special committee" to developed a proposal that could resolve the entrenched positions in the case of the typification of Acacia. It is important that such a proposal has a broad, consensual, support, rather than rely on a "winner takes all" approach.
Floral adaptation to pollination by bats is rare in Acanthaceae and only known from neotropical species. Two novel cases are described in detail from field observations. Harpochilus neesianus, a shrub endemic in NE Brazil, with long emergent thyrses, was seen being regularly visited by hovering glossophagine bats (Glossophaga soricina). Its large, pale lemon-green corollas are strongly bilabiate, a shape uncommon in the syndrome. The lower lip segments are recurved and the upper lip is reduced to a narrow, arcuate, tubular organ serving to support stamens and style. A sour, cabbage-like odour is released, and copious nectar is secreted by a voluminous disk. Pollen is transferred by the bat's upper, rear surface. Anthesis is confined to a single night. Chiropterophily in Ruellia eurycodon is deduced from the floral syndrome. The flowers of this shrub, studied in Goyás, Central Brazil, share the same features as Harpochilus except for the corolla shape, which conforms to the "short bell type" frequent in neotropical bat flowers. Based on literature sources, bat pollination is also predicted for Ruellia malaca and R. exostemma from Venezuela. The occurrence of this floral type in other genera of the family is briefly surveyed.
Phylogenetic studies based on molecular data indicated that the Neotropical genus Anisacanthus Nees (Acanthaceae), as traditionally circumscribed, is not monophyletic. Based on the priority of the description of Thyrsacanthus ramosissimus Moric. versus the description of Thyrsacanthus Nees, we are reinstating the name Thyrsacanthus (Art. 42.1 of the ICBN) to include the South American species traditionally assigned to Anisacanthus. Drejera Nees is included in the synonymy of Thyrsacanthus, a new species (T. microphyllus A. Côrtes & Rapini) is described, three new combinations are proposed, two new taxonomic synonyms at the species level indicated and three lectotypes designated. The positions of Anisacanthus trilobus Lindau and A. pohlii Lindau are uncertain, requiring further investigations.
The genus Blechum P. Browne (Acanthaceae) is best known by the widespread tropical weed formerly referred to as Blechum pyramidatum (Lam.) Urb. (recently re-established as Ruellia blechum L.). Some species of Blechum have been transferred to Ruellia based on macromorphological and molecular data, but comprehensive study of taxa assigned to Blechum is lacking. We reexamined morphological characters that have been used to distinguish Blechum from Ruellia including inflorescence structure and pollen and capsule morphology. Second, we conducted phylogenetic analyses including nine accessions from five of six species traditionally treated in Blechum (and that we here consider valid species) plus a synoptic sample of species of Ruellia based on the work of the first author. Results indicate that Blechum is nested within Ruellia with strong support. An alternative phylogenetic hypothesis of monophyly of Ruellia exclusive of species traditionally treated in Blechum was rejected under a likelihood but not a parsimony criterion. Based on morphological similarities, common chromosome numbers, and molecular data, we transfer the genus Blechum to Ruellia. Third, we studied specimens and images of specimens of as many pertinent historical collections as we could acquire. This study resulted in nomenclatural and taxonomic renovations that include several new taxonomic synonyms (reduction of Blechum killipii, Blechum linnaei, and Blechum trinitense), two new combinations (Ruellia haughtii and Ruellia panamensis), one new lectotypification (Blechum brownei α subcordatum f. albiflorum), and additional recommendations for future typification. Based on our morphological and molecular studies, six species of Ruellia are treated as constituting the Blechum lineage of Ruellia. A preliminary key is provided to distinguish these species, but the Blechum lineage as a whole deserves further attention and fieldwork to determine the precise limits of each taxon.
Based on nucleotide sequences from three chloroplast DNA regions (rps16, rpl16 , trnT-trnL), we infer detailed phylogenetic relationships within the subfamily Thunbergioideae (Acanthaceae) and among major lineages of the family as a whole. Taxa were sampled to cover the geographic distribution of Thunbergioideae and to include all subgenera of the largest genus Thunbergia. All other major lineages of Acanthaceae were sampled to test monophyly and intrafamilial position of Thunbergioideae. Both parsimony and Bayesian analyses support Thunbergioideae as monophyletic. The mangrove genus Avicennia is consistently placed as sister to Thunbergioideae although with only moderate support. Thunbergia and Mendoncia are both monophyletic in all analyses, and Mendoncia is placed as sister to Thunbergia plus Pseudocalyx. Relationships within the two largest genera Mendoncia and Thunbergia are highly resolved and most branches are strongly supported. Our results suggest that the existing morphology-based classification of Thunbergia partially holds, but needs revision. Based on the phylogenetic relationships we found it likely that a twining habit is ancestral for the genus Thunbergia. The thecal awns, characteristic for many species in the genus, have probably evolved from unicellular bristles. Longitudinal dehiscence over the whole length of the thecae, which is present in many Thunbergia species, most likely evolved from short slits or pores as present in Pseudocalyx and Mendoncia.
Sargassum is one of the morphologically most complex phaeophyceaen genera, and is divided into subgenera, sections, subsections, series and species groups based on highly polymorphic characters. Recent DNA analyses have highlighted incongruities in the traditional classification of the genus and especially within Sargassum subg. Sargassum sect. Acanthocarpicae. Our goal was to re-assess the relationships among taxa currently attributed to this section in the Pacific basin. We undertook the taxonomic study in two main steps: (1) the morphological examination of large collections from inter-tropical Pacific islands and type specimens from worldwide localities; and (2) DNA analyses using a set of three markers (ITS-2, partial rbcLS-operon, cox3). Morphological and DNA analyses confirmed that S. sect. Acanthocarpicae is based on unsuitable morphological characters and is not monophyletic. On the basis of this study, we propose (1) abandoning subsections within S. sect. Acanthocarpicae; (2) synonymization of S. sect. Acanthocarpicae and sect. Malacocarpicae with sect. Sargassum; and (3) the elevation of S. ser. Ilicifoliae and ser. Binderianae to sectional rank as well as their re-description according to new sets of morphological characters.