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25 July 2022, Volume 44 Issue 04
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  • Short communication
    V.PhyloMaker2:An updated and enlarged R package that can generate very large phylogenies for vascular plants
    Yi Jin, Hong Qian
    2022, 44(04):  335-339.  doi:10.1016/j.pld.2022.05.005
    Abstract ( 408 )   HTML ( )   PDF (682KB) ( 192 )   Save
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    An earlier version of V.PhyloMaker has been broadly used to generate phylogenetic trees of vascular plants for botanical, biogeographical and ecological studies. Here, we update and enlarge this package, which is now called 'V.PhyloMaker2'. With V.PhyloMaker2, one can generate a phylogenetic tree for vascular plants based on one of three different botanical nomenclature systems. V.PhyloMaker2 can generate phylogenies for very large species lists (the largest species list that we tested included 365,198 species). V.PhyloMaker2 generates phylogenies at a fast speed. We provide an example (including a sample species list and an R script to run it) in this paper to show how to use V.PhyloMaker2 to generate phylogenetic trees.
    Recent advances on phylogenomics of gymnosperms and a new classification
    Yong Yang, David Kay Ferguson, Bing Liu, Kang-Shan Mao, Lian-Ming Gao, Shou-Zhou Zhang, Tao Wan, Keith Rushforth, Zhi-Xiang Zhang
    2022, 44(04):  340-350.  doi:10.1016/j.pld.2022.05.003
    Abstract ( 191 )   HTML ( )   PDF (7637KB) ( 161 )   Save
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    Living gymnosperms comprise four major groups: cycads, Ginkgo, conifers, and gnetophytes. Relationships among/within these lineages have not been fully resolved. Next generation sequencing has made available a large number of sequences, including both plastomes and single-copy nuclear genes, for reconstruction of solid phylogenetic trees. Recent advances in gymnosperm phylogenomic studies have updated our knowledge of gymnosperm systematics. Here, we review major advances of gymnosperm phylogeny over the past 10 years and propose an updated classification of extant gymnosperms. This new classification includes three classes (Cycadopsida, Ginkgoopsida, and Pinopsida), five subclasses (Cycadidae, Ginkgoidae, Cupressidae, Pinidae, and Gnetidae), eight orders (Cycadales, Ginkgoales, Araucariales, Cupressales, Pinales, Ephedrales, Gnetales, and Welwitschiales), 13 families, and 86 genera. We also described six new tribes including Acmopyleae Y. Yang, Austrocedreae Y. Yang, Chamaecyparideae Y. Yang, Microcachrydeae Y. Yang, Papuacedreae Y. Yang, and Prumnopityeae Y. Yang, and made 27 new combinations in the genus Sabina.
    Phylogenetic endemism of the orchids of Megamexico reveals complementary areas for conservation
    Brandon E. Gutiérrez-Rodríguez, Marilyn Vásquez-Cruz, Victoria Sosa
    2022, 44(04):  351-359.  doi:10.1016/j.pld.2022.03.004
    Abstract ( 80 )   HTML ( )   PDF (32640KB) ( 51 )   Save
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    Orchid diversity provides a unique opportunity to further our understanding of biotic and abiotic factors linked to patterns of richness, endemism, and phylogenetic endemism in many regions. However, orchid diversity is consistently threatened by illegal trade and habitat transformation. Here, we identified areas critical for orchid conservation in the biogeographic province of Megamexico. For this purpose, we evaluated orchid endemism, phylogenetic diversity, and phylogenetic endemism within Megamexico and characterized orchid life forms. Our results indicate that the majority of the regions with the highest estimates of endemism and phylogenetic endemism are in southern Mexico and northern Central America, mostly located on the Pacific side of Megamexico. Among the most important orchid lineages, several belong to epiphytic lineages such as Pleurothallidinae, Laeliinae and Oncidiinae. We also found that species from diverse and distantly related lineages converge in montane forests where suitable substrates for epiphytes abound. Furthermore, the southernmost areas of phylogenetic diversity and endemism of Megamexico are in unprotected areas. Thus, we conclude that the most critical areas for orchid conservation in Megamexico are located in southern Mexico and northern Central America. We recommend that these areas should be given priority by the Mexican system of natural protected areas as complementary conservation areas.
    Ontogenetic trait variation and metacommunity effects influence species relative abundances during tree community assembly
    Yun-Yun He, Kwansupa Srisombut, Ding-Liang Xing, Nanthan G. Swenson, Mengesha Asefa, Min Cao, Xiao-Yang Song, Han-Dong Wen, Jie Yang
    2022, 44(04):  360-368.  doi:10.1016/j.pld.2021.09.002
    Abstract ( 74 )   HTML ( )   PDF (5040KB) ( 29 )   Save
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    Predicting species abundance is one of the most fundamental pursuits of ecology. Combining the information encoded in functional traits and metacommunities provides a new perspective to predict the abundance of species in communities. We applied a community assembly via trait selection model to predict quadrat-scale species abundances using functional trait variation on ontogenetic stages and metacommunity information for over 490 plant species in a subtropical forest and a lowland tropical forest in Yunnan, China. The relative importance of trait-based selection, mass effects, and stochasticity in shaping local species abundances is evaluated using different null models. We found both mass effects and trait selection contribute to local abundance patterns. Trait selection was detectable at all studied spatial scales (0.04-1 ha), with its strength stronger at larger scales and in the subtropical forest. In contrast, the importance of stochasticity decreased with spatial scale. A significant mass effect of the metacommunity was observed at small spatial scales. Our results indicate that tree community assembly is primarily driven by ontogenetic traits and metacommunity effects. Our findings also demonstrate that including ontogenetic trait variation into predictive frameworks allows ecologists to infer ecological mechanisms operating in community assembly at the individual level.
    Reproduction and genetic diversity of Juniperus squamata along an elevational gradient in the Hengduan Mountains
    Tsam Ju, Zhi-Tong Han, Markus Ruhsam, Jia-Liang Li, Wen-Jing Tao, Sonam Tso, Georg Miehe, Kang-Shan Mao
    2022, 44(04):  369-376.  doi:10.1016/j.pld.2021.12.002
    Abstract ( 90 )   HTML ( )   PDF (10830KB) ( 33 )   Save
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    Elevation plays a crucial factor in the distribution of plants, as environmental conditions become increasingly harsh at higher elevations. Previous studies have mainly focused on the effects of large-scale elevational gradients on plants, with little attention on the impact of smaller-scale gradients. In this study we used 14 microsatellite loci to survey the genetic structure of 332 Juniperus squamata plants along elevation gradient from two sites in the Hengduan Mountains. We found that the genetic structure (single, clonal, mosaic) of J. squamata shrubs is affected by differences in elevational gradients of only 150 m. Shrubs in the mid-elevation plots rarely have a clonal or mosaic structure compared to shrubs in lower- or higher-elevation plots. Human activity can significantly affect genetic structure, as well as reproductive strategy and genetic diversity. Sub-populations at mid-elevations had the highest yield of seed cones, lower levels of asexual reproduction and higher levels of genetic diversity. This may be due to the trade-off between elevational stress and anthropogenic disturbance at mid-elevation since there is greater elevational stress at higher-elevations and greater intensity of anthropogenic disturbance at lower-elevations. Our findings provide new insights into the finer scale genetic structure of alpine shrubs, which may improve the conservation and management of shrublands, a major vegetation type on the Hengduan Mountains and the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.
    Plastid genome evolution of a monophyletic group in the subtribe Lauriineae (Laureae, Lauraceae)
    Chao Liu, Huan-Huan Chen, Li-Zhou Tang, Phyo Kay Khine, Li-Hong Han, Yu Song, Yun-Hong Tan
    2022, 44(04):  377-388.  doi:10.1016/j.pld.2021.11.009
    Abstract ( 91 )   HTML ( )   PDF (12208KB) ( 33 )   Save
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    Litsea, a non-monophyletic group of the tribe Laureae (Lauraceae), plays important roles in the tropical and subtropical forests of Asia, Australia, Central and North America, and the islands of the Pacific. However, intergeneric relationships between Litsea and Laurus, Lindera, Parasassafras and Sinosassafras of the tribe Laureae remain unresolved. In this study, we present phylogenetic analyses of seven newly sequenced Litsea plastomes, together with 47 Laureae plastomes obtained from public databases, representing six genera of the Laureae. Our results highlight two highly supported monophyletic groups of Litsea taxa. One is composed of 16 Litsea taxa and two Lindera taxa. The 18 plastomes of these taxa were further compared for their gene structure, codon usage, contraction and expansion of inverted repeats, sequence repeats, divergence hotspots, and gene evolution. The complete plastome size of newly sequenced taxa varied between 152,377 bp (Litsea auriculata) and 154,117 bp (Litsea pierrei). Seven of the 16 Litsea plastomes have a pair of insertions in the IRa (trnL-trnH) and IRb (ycf2) regions. The 18 plastomes of Litsea and Lindera taxa exhibit similar gene features, codon usage, oligonucleotide repeats, and inverted repeat dynamics. The codons with the highest frequency among these taxa favored A/T endings and each of these plastomes had nine divergence hotspots, which are located in the same regions. We also identified six protein coding genes (accD, ndhJ, rbcL, rpoC2, ycf1 and ycf2) under positive selection in Litsea; these genes may play important roles in adaptation of Litsea species to various environments.
    Parahellenia, a new genus segregated from Hellenia (Costaceae) based on phylogenetic and morphological evidence
    Juan Chen, Sijin Zeng, Linya Zeng, Khang Sinh Nguyen, Jiawei Yan, Hua Liu, Nianhe Xia
    2022, 44(04):  389-405.  doi:10.1016/j.pld.2022.02.001
    Abstract ( 105 )   HTML ( )   PDF (38065KB) ( 153 )   Save
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    Previous studies recognized three major lineages of the family Costaceae: a South American clade, an Asian clade and a Costus clade. However, the genus Hellenia within the Asian clade has been shown to be non-monophyletic and its morphology has not been studied carefully. Therefore, the complete plastid genomes of Hellenia species were obtained and the monophyly of Hellenia was tested through four different datasets in this study. Plastid phylogenomic analyses of Costaceae revealed that Hellenia is strongly supported as paraphyletic. Two major clades are recovered, namely the Hellenia s.s. subclade and the Parahellenia subclade. Phylogenetic analyses based on an enlarged taxon sampling of the Asian clade using a two chloroplast markers dataset (trnK intron and trnL-F spacer) confirmed the paraphyly of Hellenia. Meanwhile, morphological analyses suggested that members of the Parahellenia subclade differ from the remaining Hellenia species in many characters including inflorescences, bracts, stigma, axillary buds, floral tubes and labellum. According to the present molecular and morphological evidence, the latter subclade is recognized as a new genus, Parahellenia. Two new species are described, four new combinations are made, and identification keys are also provided.
    Leaf fossils of Sabalites (Arecaceae) from the Oligocene of northern Vietnam and their paleoclimatic implications
    Ai Song, Jia Liu, Shui-Qing Liang, Truong Van Do, Hung Ba Nguyen, Wei-Yu-Dong Deng, Lin-Bo Jia, Cédric Del Rio, Gaurav Srivastava, Zhuo Feng, Zhe-Kun Zhou, Jian Huang, Tao Su
    2022, 44(04):  406-416.  doi:10.1016/j.pld.2021.08.003
    Abstract ( 68 )   HTML ( )   PDF (11818KB) ( 23 )   Save
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    Recent paleobotanical investigations in Vietnam provide a good opportunity to improve our understanding of the biodiversity and paleoclimatic conditions in the geological past of Southeast Asia. Palms (Arecaceae) are a diverse family of typical thermophilous plants with a relatively low tolerance for freezing. In this study, we describe well-preserved fossil palm leaves from the Oligocene Dong Ho Formation of Hoanh Bo Basin, northern Vietnam. Characters of the fossil leaves, such as a fan-shaped costapalmate lamina, an unarmed petiole, a costa slightly enlarged at the base that then tapers distally into the blade, and well-preserved amphistomatic leaves with cuticles, suggest that they represent a new fossil species, which we herein designate Sabalites colaniae A. Song, T. Su, T. V. Do et Z.K. Zhou sp. nov. Together with other paleontological and palaeoclimatic evidence, we conclude that a warm climate prevailed in northern Vietnam and nearby areas during the Oligocene.
    Metabolome profiling of stratified seeds provides insight into the regulation of dormancy in Davidia involucrata
    Shiming Deng, Qiang Xiao, Cigui Xu, Jian Hong, Zhijun Deng, Dan Jiang, Shijia Luo
    2022, 44(04):  417-427.  doi:10.1016/j.pld.2021.12.001
    Abstract ( 100 )   HTML ( )   PDF (7626KB) ( 27 )   Save
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    Dove tree (Davidia involucrata), a tertiary vestige species, is well-adapted to cool conditions. Dormancy in D. involucrata seed lasts for an extremely long period of time, typically between 3 and 4 years, and this characteristic makes the species an excellent model for studying the mechanisms of seed dormancy. The molecular mechanisms governing germination control in D. involucrata are still unknown. Seed stratification have been reported to enhance germination in recalcitrant seeds. We performed a widely targeted metabolome profiling to identify metabolites and associated pathways in D. involucrata seeds from six different moist sand stratification durations (0-30 months) using the ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography-Q Exactive Orbitrap-Mass spectrometry. There was an increasing germination rate with prolonged stratification durations (12-30 months). Furthermore, we detected 10,008 metabolites in the stratified seeds. We also detected 48 differentially accumulated metabolites (DAMs) between all stratification periods in the seeds, with 10 highly conserved metabolites. Most of the differentially accumulated metabolites between unstratified and stratified seeds were enriched in purine metabolism, pyrimidine metabolism, flavone and flavonol biosynthesis, phenylpropanoid biosynthesis, and arginine biosynthesis pathways. Key phytohormones, abscisic acid, indole-3 acetic acid, and sinapic acid were differentially accumulated in the seeds and are predicted to regulate dormancy in D. involucrata. We have provided extensive metabolic information useful for future works on dove tree germination study.