Article

Fitting the Morphological Diversity of Poa Sect. Stenopoa into A Taxonomic Framework

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Abstract

Bluegrasses (Poa L.) of section Stenopoa is one of the most numerous, variable and intricate groups of grasses in temperate regions of Asia. The preliminary research of correlations and gepgraphical distribution of 5 main discriminators have been undertaken. It has revealed 54 combinations of characters states (among 96 possible), but only 22 of them could be attributed to identified species. Significant correlation was found between ligule length and surface of rachilla. The divergence in geographical distribution of ligule length (along longitude) and lemma callus (along latitude) has been revealed. It confirms the morphological and geographical divergence and has indicated the main trend. The most morphological diversity has been revealed in Chinese provinces Sichuan and Yunnan.

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... Preliminary studies have shown that the combinations of characteristics of two or even three different species can be found within some populations [9,10]. The unprecedented morphological diversity in this area is likely to reflect a very high genetic diversity [11,12]. To determine the level of genetic diversity, it is necessary to make detailed molecular studies at the population level. ...
... Section Stenopoa Dum. (Poa L.) is one of the largest within the genus Poa and is present mainly in Eurasia, reaching the highest morphological diversity in the mountain areas of Central Asia and the Pan-Himalayas [12]. In spite of leading to large morphological and genetic diversity, hybridisation and apomixes also causes a combination of the characters of two or more different species within individual populations. ...
... It has shown that plants with glabrous callus of lemmas are concentrated mainly in the South of Siberia and on Sakhalin island. In the mountains of Central Asia among xeromorphic bluegrasses section Stenopoa, individuals with glabrous callus of lemmas are prevalent [12]. Such a distribution can be evidence of genetic relationship between the Central Asian and Siberian groups of bluegrasses. ...
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Research into the basic qualitative characteristics (phens), their distribution and combinations (morphotypes) was undertaken in order to reveal the genetic diversity with respect to section Stenopoa in Asian Russia. About one and half thousands occurrences have been revealed, using herbarium samples and literature data, 1144 were involved in analysis. Four key characters have been used as phonetic markers: the presence or absence of the tuft of hairs on the lemma callus, rachilla surface, ligule length, and lemma surface between veins. Based on these characters and taking into account their xeromorphic level (4 character states), 46 different morphotypes among 96 possible ones were found; 24 morphotypes among 46 (56.5%) are suggested to be of hybrid origin, and 239 (20.89%) among 1144 investigated individuals seem to be of hybrid origin as well. High phenetic diversity of Stenopoa bluegrass indicated indirectly their high genetic diversity in Asian Russia. The highest morphological diversity and phenotypic richness were found in Altai-Sayan mountain systems and in the Baikal region.
... Stenopoa is one of the largest infrageneric groups within the bluegrass genus Poa L., which itself is one of the largest grass genera (Clayton and Renvoize, 1999). According to various regional estimates (Keng, 1959;Tzvelev, 1976;Liu, 2003, Tzvelev andProbatova, 2019), this section comprises up to 100 species and is present mainly in Eurasia, reaching its highest morphological diversity in mountainous areas of Central Asia and the Pan-Himalayas (Olonova et al., 2014). Because of the prevalence of hybridization (Tzvelev, 1976) and apomixis (Stebbins, 1941), the systematic treatment of this section and subgenus is especially complicated. ...
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Two new species, Poa liuliangii and P. kengii, from the Hengduan Mountains (Sichuan province of southwest China) are described and illustrated. Detailed description and comparison tables are also provided. Poa liuliangii is similar to P. incerta and P. orinosa of the Poa versicolor aggregate (in accordance with a monotypic species concept), but differs from them in its more mesomorphic appearance (broader panicles, broader leaf blades, flag leaf blades longer than sheathes or equal) and pubescent rachillas. Poa kengii is similar to P. sphondylodes and P. faberi, but differs from them in its shorter ligules and glabrous lemma calluses.
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