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25 November 2022, Volume 44 Issue 06
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  • Research paper
    Plastome characteristics and species identification of Chinese medicinal wintergreens (Gaultheria, Ericaceae)
    Yan-Ling Xu, Hao-Hua Shen, Xin-Yu Du, Lu Lu
    2022, 44(06):  519-529.  doi:10.1016/j.pld.2022.06.002
    Abstract ( 43 )   HTML ( )   PDF (9804KB) ( 70 )   Save
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    Wintergreen oil is a folk medicine widely used in foods, pesticides, cosmetics and drugs. In China, nine out of 47 species within Gaultheria (Ericaceae) are traditionally used as Chinese medicinal wintergreens; however, phylogenetic approaches currently used to discriminating these species remain unsatisfactory. In this study, we sequenced and characterized plastomes from nine Chinese wintergreen species and identified candidate DNA barcoding regions for Gaultheria. Each Gaultheria plastome contained 110 unique genes (76 protein-coding, 30 tRNA, and four rRNA genes). Duplication of trnfM, rps14, and rpl23 genes were detected, while all plastomes lacked ycf1 and ycf2 genes. Gaultheria plastomes shared substantially contracted SSC regions that contained only the ndhF gene. Moreover, plastomes of Gaultheria leucocarpa var. yunnanensis contained an inversion in the LSC region and an IR expansion to cover the ndhF gene. Multiple rearrangement events apparently occurred between the Gaultheria plastomes and those from several previously reported families in Ericales. Our phylogenetic reconstruction using 42 plastomes revealed well-supported relationships within all nine Gaultheria species. Additionally, seven mutational hotspot regions were identified as potential DNA barcodes for Chinese medicinal wintergreens. Our study is the first to generate complete plastomes and describe the structural variations of the complicated genus Gaultheria. In addition, our findings provide important resources for identification of Chinese medicinal wintergreens.
    Genetic analysis of walnut cultivars from southwest China: Implications for germplasm improvement
    Moses C. Wambulwa, Peng-Zhen Fan, Richard Milne, Zeng-Yuan Wu, Ya-Huang Luo, Yue-Hua Wang, Hong Wang, Lian-Ming Gao, Zuo-Ying Xiahou, Ye-Chuan Jin, Lin-Jiang Ye, Zu-Chang Xu, Zhi-Chun Yang, De-Zhu Li, Jie Liu
    2022, 44(06):  530-541.  doi:10.1016/j.pld.2021.08.005
    Abstract ( 37 )   HTML ( )   PDF (8590KB) ( 36 )   Save
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    Walnuts are highly valued for their rich nutritional profile and wide medicinal applications. This demand has led to the intensification of breeding activities in major walnut production areas such as southwest China, in order to develop more superior cultivars. With the increasing number of cultivars, accurate identification becomes fundamental to selecting the right cultivar for grafting, industrial processing or development of new cultivars. To ensure proper identification of cultivars and understand the genetic structure of wild and cultivated material, we genotyped 362 cultivated and wild individuals of walnut trees from southwest China (with two additional populations from Xinjiang, plus three cultivars from Canada, France and Belgium) using 36 polymorphic microsatellite loci. We found relatively low indices of genetic diversity (HO?=?0.570, HE?=?0.404, NA?=?2.345) as well as a high level of clonality (>85% of cultivars), indicating reliance on genetically narrow sources of parental material for breeding. Our STRUCTURE and PCoA analyses generally delineated the two species, though considerable levels of introgression were also evident. More significantly, we detected a distinct genetic group of cultivated Juglans sigillata, which mainly comprised individuals of the popular ‘Yangbidapao’ landrace. Finally, a core set of 18 SSR loci was selected, which was capable of identifying 32 cultivars. In a nutshell, our results call for more utilization of genetically disparate material, including wild walnut trees, as parental sources to breed for more cultivars. The data reported herein will significantly contribute towards the genetic improvement and conservation of the walnut germplasm in southwest China.
    Development of genomic resources for Wenchengia alternifolia (Lamiaceae) based on genome skimming data
    Qi-Yue Zhou, Hui-Xia Cai, Zi-Han Liu, Lang-Xing Yuan, Lei Yang, Tuo Yang, Bo Li, Pan Li
    2022, 44(06):  542-551.  doi:10.1016/j.pld.2021.09.006
    Abstract ( 33 )   HTML ( )   PDF (43483KB) ( 22 )   Save
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    Wenchengia alternifolia (Lamiaceae), the sole species of the genus Wenchengia is extremely rare and is currently listed as Critically Endangered (CR) on the IUCN Red List. The species had long been considered endemic to Hainan Island, China and was once believed to be extinct until a small remnant population was rediscovered at the type locality in 2010. Four more populations were later found on Hainan and in Vietnam. In order to develop genomic resources for further studies on population genetics and conservation biology of this rare species, we identified infraspecific molecular markers in the present study, using genome skimming data of five individuals collected from two populations on Hainan Island and three populations in Vietnam respectively. The length of plastome of the five individuals varied from 152,961 bp to 150,204 bp, and exhibited a typical angiosperm quadripartite structure. Six plastid hotspot regions with the Pi?>?0.01 (trnH-psbA, psbA-trnK, rpl22, ndhE, ndhG-ndhI and rps15-ycf1), 1621 polymorphic gSSRs, as well as 1657 candidate SNPs in 237 variant nuclear genes were identified, thereby providing important information for further genetic studies.
    Two new species from Sulawesi and Borneo facilitate phylogeny and taxonomic revision of Engelhardia (Juglandaceae)
    Hong-Hu Meng, Can-Yu Zhang, Shook Ling Low, Lang Li, Jian-Yong Shen, Nurainas, Yu Zhang, Pei-Han Huang, Shi-Shun Zhou, Yun-Hong Tan, Jie Li
    2022, 44(06):  552-564.  doi:10.1016/j.pld.2022.08.003
    Abstract ( 29 )   HTML ( )   PDF (15364KB) ( 38 )   Save
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    Engelhardia, a genus of Juglandaceae (the walnut family), is endemic to tropical and subtropical Asia. The rich Cenozoic fossil records and distinctive morphological characters of the living plants have been used to explore the evolutionary history and geographic distribution of Juglandaceae. However, the taxonomy of this genus has been suffered from a lack of in-depth investigation and good specimens across its distribution ranges. Species delimitation of Engelhardia was defined with seven species in 2020, but detailed information on the circumscription of the species still remains poorly understood. In this study, two new species are described from Sulawesi and Borneo, Engelhardia anminiana and E.?borneensis. We also revised and reconstructed the phylogeny within Engelhardia using morphological, molecular (plastid and ribosomal), and distribution data. We sampled 787 individuals in 80 populations, and all the samples were genotyped using plastid regions, trnS-trnG, rps16, trnL-trnF, psbA-trnH, and rpl32-trnL; one ribosomal region, nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (nrITS). The all datasets were used to reconstruct the phylogenetic relationships. Then, the molecular analyses were combined for 738 sheets of specimens with 15 morphological characteristics to further explore the morphological clusters of Engelhardia. Cluster analysis using morphological data confirmed the delimitation of nine Engelhardia species. Also, phylogenetic analysis based on molecular data (i.e., plastid and ribosomal) supported the monophyly of Engelhardia and generated phylogenetic trees that included E.?fenzelii, E.?roxburghiana, E.?borneensis, E.?hainanensis, E.?anminiana, E.?serrata, E.?villosa, E.?apoensis and the varieties of E.?spicata (i.e., E.?spicata var. spicata, E.?spicata var. rigida, E.?spicata var. aceriflora, and E.?spicata var. colebrookeana). Our comprehensive taxonomic revision of Engelhardia will provide an insight into understanding the plant diversity in tropical and subtropical Asia.
    Fertile Woodwardia from the middle Eocene of South China and its implications for palaeogeography and palaeoclimate
    Han-Zhang Song, Serge V. Naugolnykh, Xin-Kai Wu, Xiao-Yan Liu, Jian-Hua Jin
    2022, 44(06):  565-576.  doi:10.1016/j.pld.2021.09.003
    Abstract ( 45 )   HTML ( )   PDF (26027KB) ( 4 )   Save
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    The genus Woodwardia, which together with the genera Anchistea and Lorinseria comprise the subfamily Woodwardioideae of Blechnaceae, has a disjunct distribution across Central and North America, Europe and the temperate to tropical areas of Asia. Fossil records of Woodwardia occur throughout the Paleogene and Neogene of North America, Europe and Asia. However, well-preserved fertile pinna fossils of this genus have not yet been reported in South China. In this paper, a new species, W.?changchangensis Naugolnykh et Song, sp. nov. is described from the middle Eocene of the Changchang Basin, Hainan Island, South China. Macromorphological and micromorphological features of the fertile pinna show a straight pinna rachis, alternate, subtriangular pinnules, acute pinnule apices, almost entire or slightly undulate pinnule margins, long-ovoid sori, stalked sporangia and spores with wing-like folds on the surface, which are characterised in detail. Overall, the present fossil is most similar to the extant species Woodwardia japonica, which mostly grows in warm and moist environments. The discovery of this new species from the Changchang Basin of Hainan Island indicates that this genus has been distributed in the low-latitude tropical regions of South China from as early as the middle Eocene. Based on this find, and previous studies of other ferns from the same site, we infer that the climate of the Palaeo-Hainan landscape during deposition of the Changchang Formation was warm and humid, similar to conditions prevailing today across this region.
    An ethnobotanical study of medicinal plants in Güce district, north-eastern Turkey
    Mustafa Karak?se
    2022, 44(06):  577-597.  doi:10.1016/j.pld.2022.03.005
    Abstract ( 18 )   HTML ( )   PDF (16312KB) ( 40 )   Save
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    This study aims to identify medicinal plants traditionally used to treat diseases by local people living in Güce district, north-eastern Turkey. The study was carried out between 2018 and 2021 using a two-part semi-structured, open-ended questionnaire with 165 local people. Data were analysed using use-report, frequency of citation, and informant consensus factor. Informants identified 128 vascular medicinal plant taxa belonging to 54 families and 106 genera. The most common plant taxa belong to Rosaceae (16 taxa/12.5%), Asteraceae (12 taxa/9.4%), and Lamiaceae (9 taxa/7%) families. The most frequently used preparation method reported was decoction (39.8%); the most commonly utilized plant parts were leaves (40.3%). Statistical analysis reveals that women in Güce district (df?=?163, p?=?0.043?<?0.05) possess the most traditional knowledge. The highest frequency of citation (61) and use report (92) were recorded for Tilia rubra subsp. caucasica, and the highest informant consensus factors were cited for respiratory system disorders (0.86), digestive system disorders (0.73), and skin disorders (0.71). This study reported nine plant taxa as medicinal plants for the first time, and documented a total of 293 new therapeutic uses. However, the study indicates that the transfer of traditional knowledge to future generations is limited (F?=?3.355, p?=?0.020). Action should be taken as soon as possible to preserve existing traditional knowledge and to ensure its transfer to future generations.
    Borana rangeland of southern Ethiopia: Estimating biomass production and carrying capacity using field and remote sensing data
    Yeneayehu Fenetahun, You Yuan, Xin-Wen Xu, Yong-Dong Wang
    2022, 44(06):  598-606.  doi:10.1016/j.pld.2022.03.003
    Abstract ( 27 )   HTML ( )   PDF (2381KB) ( 4 )   Save
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    Assessing rangeland productivity is critical to reduce ecological degradation and promote sustainable livestock management. Here, we estimated biomass productivity and carrying capacity dynamics in the Borana rangeland of southern Ethiopia by using field-based data and remote sensing data (i.e., normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI)). Data was collected from both rainy and dry seasons when biomass production was high and low respectively. Results of linear regression showed that both biomass production (R2adj?=?0.672) and NDVI value (R2adj?=?0.471) were significantly decreased from 1990 to 2019. Field data and NDVI values for mean annual biomass showed a significant linear relationship. The model accuracy in the annual relationship between the observed and predicted biomass values was strong (R2adj?=?0.986) but with high standard error, indicating that the observed biomass production in the rangeland area was not in good condition as compared with the predicted one. This study suggests that, using NDVI data and field-based data in combined way has high potential to estimate rangeland biomass and carrying capacity dynamics at extensively grazed arid and semi-arid rangelands. And to use for estimating stoking rates and predicting future management techniques for decision making.
    Seedling survival after simulating grazing and drought for two species from the Pamirs, northwestern China
    Fiona R. Worthy, Stefanie D. Goldberg, Sailesh Ranjitkar, Jian-Chu Xu
    2022, 44(06):  607-616.  doi:10.1016/j.pld.2021.07.003
    Abstract ( 28 )   HTML ( )   PDF (980KB) ( 19 )   Save
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    For plant populations to persist, seedling recruitment is essential, requiring seed germination, seedling survival and growth. Drought and grazing potentially reduce seedling recruitment via increased mortality and reduced growth. We studied these seed–related processes for two species indigenous to the Pamir Mountains of Xinjiang in northwestern China: Saussurea glacialis and Plantago lessingii. Seeds collected from Taxkorgan, Xinjiang, had a viability rate of 15.8% for S.?glacialis but 100% for P.?lessingii. Of the viable seeds, the highest germination rates were 62.9% for S.?glacialis and 45.6% for P.?lessingii. In a greenhouse experiment, we imposed a series of stressful conditions, involving a combination of simulated grazing and drought events. These had the most severe impact on younger seedlings. Modelling showed that 89% of S.?glacialis mortality was due to early simulated grazing, whereas 80% of P.?lessingii mortality was due to early simulated drought. Physiological differences could contribute to their differing resilience. S.?glacialis may rely on water storage in leaves to survive drought events, but showed no shifts in biomass allocation that would improve grazing tolerance. P.?lessingii appears more reliant on its root system to survive grazing, but the root reserves of younger plants could be insufficient to grow deeper in response to drought. After applying all mortality factors, 17.7 seedlings/parent of P.?lessingii survived, while only <0.1 seedlings/parent of S.?glacialis survived, raising concerns for its capacity to persist in the Pamirs. Inherent genetic differences may underlie the two species’ contrasting grazing and drought responses. Thus, differing conservation strategies are required for their utilization and protection.
    Molecular cytogenetic study on the plants of Elymus nutans with varying fertility on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau
    Bo Liu, Xiao-Yan Tao, Quan-Wen Dou
    2022, 44(06):  617-624.  doi:10.1016/j.pld.2021.12.003
    Abstract ( 36 )   HTML ( )   PDF (8923KB) ( 20 )   Save
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    A molecular cytogenetic investigation was conducted on plants of the allohexaploid species Elymus nutans with varying fertility on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Molecular karyotyping revealed that chromosome variants were distributed unevenly among genomes and among different homologue chromosomes in each genome. The plants with varying fertility exhibited significantly higher numbers of chromosome variants than did the normal fertility samples, although both kinds of plants showed the same pattern of high-to-low polymorphism from the Y to St and H genomes. Heterozygosis and karyotype heterozygosity in the plants with varying fertility were 3- and 13-fold higher than those in normal samples, respectively. Significant negative correlations were found not only between seed setting rates and total genome heterozygosity but also between seed setting rates and heterozygosity of each genome in the plants of varying fertility. Chromosome pairing analysis was performed using genomic in situ hybridization in selected plants of different fertility levels. The pairing of chromosomes at meiotic metaphase I was mostly bivalent, although univalent, trivalent, quadrivalent, and other polyvalents also occurred; in addition, chromosome configuration forms and frequencies varied among the studied samples. ANOVA results showed that the average number of ring bivalents in the Y genome was significantly higher than those in the St and H genomes. Significant positive correlations between pollen grain fertility and ring bivalent number were found in the St and H genomes but not in the Y genome. Furthermore, chromosome configuration parameters (total bivalents, numbers of ring and rod bivalents) were found to be significantly correlated with heterozygosity and seed setting rates in the St and H genomes, respectively, but not in the Y genome. It was inferred that the seed setting rate and pollen grain fertility in E.?nutans are strongly influenced by the heterozygosity of each genome, but the Y genome differs from the St and H genomes due to chromosome pair alterations. The St and H genomes may contain more chromosome structural variations than the Y genome in E.?nutans.
    Does the critically endangered Rhododendron amesiae deserve top priority for conservation?
    Yi-Shan Ao, Yu-Hang Chang, De-Tuan Liu, Yong-Bo Liu, Yong-Peng Ma
    2022, 44(06):  625-628.  doi:10.1016/j.pld.2022.09.005
    Abstract ( 25 )   HTML ( )   PDF (9986KB) ( 21 )   Save
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