Mario Coiro

Mario Coiro
University of Vienna | UniWien · Institut für Paläontologie

Dr.sc.nat.

About

75
Publications
34,923
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758
Citations
Introduction
My current research tries to understand the pattern of morphological evolution in the seed plants, with a particular focus on modern and fossil cycads.
Additional affiliations
August 2015 - present
University of Zurich
Position
  • PhD Student
August 2012 - August 2012
March 2011 - March 2012
University of Naples Federico II
Position
  • Master's Student
Education
August 2015 - August 2019
University of Zurich
Field of study
  • Systematic Botany
March 2010 - March 2012
University of Naples Federico II
Field of study
  • Biodiversity and Conservation Biology
September 2006 - September 2009
University of Naples Federico II
Field of study
  • Plant Biotechnologies

Publications

Publications (75)
Article
Full-text available
Background Even if they are considered the quintessential “living fossils”, the fossil record of the extant genera of the Cycadales is quite poor, and only extends as far back as the Cenozoic. This lack of data represents a huge hindrance for the reconstruction of the recent history of this important group. Among extant genera, Bowenia (or cuticles...
Article
Full-text available
The placement of angiosperms and Gnetales in seed plant phylogeny remains one of the most enigmatic problems in plant evolution, with morphological analyses (which have usually included fossils) and molecular analyses pointing to very distinct topologies. Almost all morphology-based phylogenies group angiosperms with Gnetales and certain extinct se...
Article
Full-text available
The timing of the origin of angiosperms is a hotly debated topic in plant evolution. Molecular dating analyses that consistently retrieve pre‐Cretaceous ages for crown‐group angiosperms have eroded confidence in the fossil record, which indicates a radiation and possibly also origin in the Early Cretaceous. Here we evaluate paleobotanical evidence...
Article
Full-text available
‐The pinnately lobed Aptian leaf fossil Mesodescolea plicata was originally described as a cycad, but new evidence from cuticle structure suggests it is an angiosperm. Here we document the morphology and cuticle anatomy of Mesodescolea and explore its significance for early angiosperm evolution. ‐We observed macrofossils and cuticles of Mesodescole...
Article
Full-text available
Background and Aims The gymnosperm order Cycadales is pivotal for our understanding of seed-plant phylogeny because of its phylogenetic placement close to the root node of extant spermatophytes and its combination of both derived and plesiomorphic character states. Although widely considered a ‘living fossil’ group, extant cycads display a high deg...
Article
Cycads (Cycadales) are among the most ancient lineages of extant seed-bearing plants and are the most threatened plant order on Earth, with circa 75% of the 356 accepted species endangered or threatened with extinction. Zamia is the most species-rich (81 spp.) and widely distributed cycad genus in the Americas, notable for its morphological and eco...
Article
Full-text available
The fossil record of Lythrum is scarce and every new find brings an extra piece of the puzzle to the obscure phytogeographic history of this genus. Lythrum pollen is unique and has the potential to be recognized in palynological assemblages. Therefore, the few pre-Holocene fossil records are all pollen described from North America, Russia, and Euro...
Article
Premise: Unlike most flowering plants, orchid flowers have under-developed ovules that complete development only after pollination. Classical studies reported variation in the stage in which ovule development is arrested but the extent of this variation and its evolutionary and ecological significance are unclear. Methods: Here, we performed lig...
Article
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To understand Earth´s climate variability and improve predictions of future climate change, studying past climates is an important avenue to explore. A previously published record of pCO2, across the Triassic–Jurassic boundary (TJB, ~201 Ma) of East Greenland, showed that Bennettitales (Anamozomites and Pterophyllum) responded in parallel to the em...
Article
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Fossil pollen believed to be related to extant Hagenia abyssinica were discovered in the early Miocene (21.73 Ma) Mush Valley paleoflora, Ethiopia, Africa. Both the fossil and extant pollen grains of H. abyssinica were examined with combined light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy to compare the pollen a...
Preprint
Full-text available
The origin of angiosperms is a classic macroevolutionary problem, because of their rapid rise in the Early Cretaceous fossil record, beginning about 139 Ma ago, and the conflict this creates with older crown-group ages based on molecular clock dating. Silvestro et al. use a novel methodology to model past angiosperm diversity based on a Bayesian Br...
Article
Full-text available
The Mediterranean realm, comprising the Mediterranean and Macaronesian regions, has long been recognized as one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots, owing to its remarkable species richness and endemism. Several hypotheses on biotic and abiotic drivers of species diversification in the region have been often proposed but rarely tested in an explic...
Article
Background: Although pollen morphology has always been an important tool in plant systematics, the possibility of distinguishing between related taxa is still debated. A difficult case is the cycads, where their morphology and small size is very similar. Pollen morphology has been important in plant systematics and determination at the species leve...
Article
Full-text available
Premise of the Research: The morphology of leaves is shaped by both historical and current selection acting on constrained developmental systems. For this reason, the phylogenetic signal of these characters is usually overlooked. Methodology: We investigate morphology of the leaflets of all genera of the Zamiaceae using multiple microscopical tech...
Article
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Background: β-Amylases (BAMs) are a multigene family of glucan hydrolytic enzymes playing a key role not only for plant biology but also for many industrial applications, such as the malting process in the brewing and distilling industries. BAMs have been extensively studied in Arabidopsis thaliana where they show a surprising level of complexity...
Article
Full-text available
The morphology of the early ontogenetic stages of cycad foliage may help resolve the relationships between extinct to extant cycad lineages. However, prior to this study, fossil evidence of cycad seedlings was not known. We describe a compression fossil of cycad eophylls with co-occurring fully developed leaves of adult specimens from the early Pal...
Preprint
Full-text available
Calibrating the molecular clock is the most contentious step in every dating analysis, but the emerging total-evidence dating approach promises increased objectivity. It combines molecular and morphological data of extant and fossil taxa in a Bayesian framework. Information about absolute node ages stems from the inferred fossil placements and asso...
Article
Full-text available
The pantropical Picrodendraceae produce mostly spheroidal to slightly oblate, echinate pollen grains equipped with narrow circular to elliptic pori that can be hard to identify to family level in both extant and fossil material using light microscopy only. Fossil pollen of the family have been described from the Paleogene of America, Antarctica, Au...
Article
Full-text available
Premise of research. The genus Zamia L. (Zamiaceae), consisting of 79 species, is the most species-rich and widely distributed cycad genus in the New World and arguably the most morphologically and ecologically diverse genus in the Cycadales. However, a strong phylogenetic framework for this genus is still lacking. Methodology. We used a multilocus...
Article
Background and aims: Heteroblasty is a non-reversible morphological change associated with life stage change and has been linked to predictable environmental variation. It is present in several clades from mediterranean-type climates, such as African Restionaceae (restios). These have heteroblastic shoots: juvenile shoots are thin, branched and st...
Article
The family Nymphaeaceae includes most of the diversity among the ANA‐grade angiosperms. Among the species of this family, floral structures and pollination strategies are quite varied. The genus Victoria, as well as subgenera Lotos and Hydrocallis in Nymphaea, presents night‐blooming, scented flowers pollinated by scarab beetles. Such similar polli...
Article
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Background: In contrast to most animals, plants have an indeterminate body plan, which allows them to add new body parts during their lifetime. A plant's realized modular construction is the result of exogenous constraints and endogenous processes. This review focuses on endogenous processes that shape plant architectures and their evolution. Sco...
Article
Protophloem and metaphloem sieve tubes are essential for transporting carbohydrates and signalling molecules towards sink tissues. OCTOPUS (OPS) was previously identified as an important regulator of protophloem differentiation in Arabidopsis roots. Here, we investigated the role of OCTOPUS-LIKE 2 (OPL2), a gene homologous to OPS. OPL2 expression p...
Article
Full-text available
Recent advances in molecular phylogenetics and a series of important palaeobotanical discoveries have revolutionized our understanding of angiosperm diversification. Yet, the origin and early evolution of their most characteristic feature, the flower, remains poorly understood. In particular, the structure of the ancestral flower of all living angi...
Working Paper
Full-text available
The placement of angiosperms and Gnetales in seed plant phylogeny remains one of the most enigmatic problems in plant evolution, with morphological analyses (which have usually included fossils) and molecular analyses pointing to very distinct topologies. Almost all morphology-based phylogenies group angiosperms with Gnetales and certain extinct se...
Chapter
An improved pseudo-Schiff propidium iodide staining technique well suited for, but not limited to, the visualization of xylem cell walls in whole mount samples is presented. The pseudo-Schiff reaction results in covalent binding of the fluorescent dye propidium iodide to cell walls. This stable linkage permits the use of clearing agents after stain...
Article
Full-text available
To uncover components of the mechanism that adjusts the rate of leaf starch degradation to the length of the night, we devised a screen for mutant Arabidopsis thaliana plants in which starch reserves are prematurely exhausted. The mutation in one such mutant, named early starvation 1 or esv1, eliminates a previously-uncharacterized protein. Starch...
Article
Full-text available
The genus Dioon occupies an important phylogenetic position as sister to the other Zamiaceae. However, its epidermal morphology is still poorly known. We employed scanning and transmission electron microscopy, confocal microscopy and light microscopy to examine the epidermal and cuticular morphology of 12 of the 14 currently recognized species of D...
Article
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The domestication of starch crops underpinned the development of human civilisation, yet we still do not fully understand how plants make starch. Starch is composed of glucose polymers that are branched (amylopectin) or linear (amylose). The amount of amylose strongly influences the physico-chemical behaviour of starchy foods during cooking and of...
Article
Full-text available
UV-B radiation damage in leaves is prevented by epidermal UV-screening compounds that can be modulated throughout ontogeny. In epiphytic orchids, roots need to be protected against UV-B because they photosynthesize, sometimes even replacing the leaves. How orchid roots, which are covered by a dead tissue called velamen, avoid UV-B radiation is curr...
Article
Full-text available
The evolution of the apertural type in the ANITA-grade family Nymphaeaceae, despite the importance of pollen characters for both palaeobotanical and neobotanical investigations, has not been yet totally understood. To elucidate some unclear aspects regarding the homologies of the apertural condition in basal and core Nymphaeaceae, we examined the p...