ResearchPad - petals https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Imaging dataset of fresh hydrous plants obtained by field-emission scanning electron microscopy conducted using a protective NanoSuit]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7644 Although scanning electron microscopy (SEM) can generate high-resolution images of nanosized objects, it requires a high vacuum to do so, which precludes direct observations of living organisms and often produces unwanted structural changes. It has previously been reported that a simple surface modification gives rise to a nanoscale layer, termed the “NanoSuit”, which can keep small animals alive under the high vacuum required for field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM). We have previously applied this technique to plants, and successfully observed healthy petals in a fully hydrated state using SEM. The flower petals protected with the NanoSuit appeared intact, although we still lack a fundamental understanding of the images of other plants observed using FE-SEM. This report presents and evaluates a rich set of images, acquired using the NanoSuit, for a taxonomically diverse set of plant species. This dataset of images allows the surface features of various plants to be analyzed and thus provides a further complementary morphological profile. Image data can be accessed and viewed through Figshare (https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.4446026.v1).

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<![CDATA[Differential accumulation of pelargonidin glycosides in petals at three different developmental stages of the orange-flowered gentian (Gentiana lutea L. var. aurantiaca)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6b2619d5eed0c484289307

Corolla color in Gentiana lutea L. exhibits a yellow/orange variation. We previously demonstrated that the orange petal color of G. lutea L. var. aurantiaca is predominantly caused by newly synthesized pelargonidin glycosides that confer a reddish hue to the yellow background color, derived from the carotenoids. However, the anthocyanin molecules of these pelargonidin glycosides are not yet fully identified and characterized. Here, we investigated the regulation, content and type of anthocyanins determining the petal coloration of the orange-flowered G. lutea L. var. aurantiaca. Anthocyanins from the petals of G. lutea L. var. aurantiaca were characterized and quantified by HPLC-ESI-MS/MS (High-performance liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry) coupled with a diode array detector in flowers at three different stages of development (S1, S3 and S5). Eleven pelargonidin derivatives were identified in the petals of G. lutea L. var. aurantiaca for the first time, but quantitative and qualitative differences were observed at each developmental stage. The highest levels of these pelargonidin derivatives were reached at the fully open flower stage (S5) where all anthocyanins were detected. In contrast, not all the anthocyanins were detected at the budlet stage (S1) and mature bud stage (S3) and those corresponded to more complex pelargonidin derivatives. The major pelargonidin derivatives found at all the stages were pelargonidin 3-O-glucoside, pelargonidin 3,5-O-diglucoside and pelargonidin 3-O-rutinoside. Furthermore, the expression of DFR (dihydroflavonol 4-reductase), ANS (anthocyanidin synthase), 3GT (UDP-glucose:flavonoid 3-O-glucosyltransferase), 5GT (UDP-glucose:flavonoid 5-O-glucosyltransferase) and 5AT (anthocyanin 5-aromatic acyltransferase) genes was analyzed in the petals of three developmental stages, showing that the expression level of DFR, ANS and 3GT parallels the accumulation of the pelargonidin glucosides. Overall, this study enhances the knowledge of the biochemical basis of flower coloration in Gentiana species, and lays a foundation for breeding of flower color and genetic variation studies on Gentiana varieties.

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<![CDATA[Gene duplication and relaxation from selective constraints of GCYC genes correlated with various floral symmetry patterns in Asiatic Gesneriaceae tribe Trichosporeae]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b52ded5eed0c4842bd181

Floral bilateral symmetry is one of the most important acquisitions in flower shape evolution in angiosperms. Members of Gesneriaceae possess predominantly zygomorphic flowers yet natural reversal to actinomorphy have independently evolved multiple times. The development of floral bilateral symmetry relies greatly on the gene CYCLOIDEA (CYC). Our reconstructed GCYC phylogeny indicated at least five GCYC duplication events occurred over the evolutionary history of Gesneriaceae. However, the patterns of GCYC expression following the duplications and the role of natural selection on GCYC copies in relation to floral symmetry remained largely unstudied. The Asiatic tribe Trichosporeae contains most reversals to actinomorphy. We thus investigated shifts in GCYC gene expression among selected zygomorphic species (Hemiboea bicornuta and Lysionotus pauciflorus) and species with reversals to actinomorphy (Conandron ramondioides) by RT-PCR. In the actinomorphic C. ramondioides, none of the three copies of GCYC was found expressed in petals implying that the reversal was a loss-of-function event. On the other hand, both zygomorphic species retained one GCYC1 copy that was expressed in the dorsal petals but each species utilized a different copy (GCYC1C for H. bicornuta and GCYC1D for L. pauciflorus). Together with previously published data, it appeared that GCYC1C and GCYC1D copies diversified their expression in a distinct species-specific pattern. To detect whether the selection signal (ω) changed before and after the duplication of GCYC1 in Asiatic Trichosporeae, we reconstructed a GCYC phylogeny using maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference algorithms and examined selection signals using PAML. The PAML analysis detected relaxation from selection right after the GCYC1 duplication (ωpre-duplication = 0.2819, ωpost-duplication = 0.3985) among Asiatic Trichosporeae species. We propose that the selection relaxation after the GCYC1 duplication created an "evolutionary window of flexibility" in which multiple copies were retained with randomly diverged roles for dorsal-specific expressions in association with floral symmetry changes.

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<![CDATA[Transcriptomic Analysis of Differentially Expressed Genes during Flower Organ Development in Genetic Male Sterile and Male Fertile Tagetes erecta by Digital Gene-Expression Profiling]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db02ab0ee8fa60bc724c

Tagetes erecta is an important commercial plant of Asteraceae family. The male sterile (MS) and male fertile (MF) two-type lines of T. erecta have been utilized in F1 hybrid production for many years, but no report has been made to identify the genes that specify its male sterility that is caused by homeotic conversion of floral organs. In this study, transcriptome assembly and digital gene expression profiling were performed to generate expression profiles of MS and MF plants. A cDNA library was generated from an equal mixture of RNA isolated from MS and MF flower buds (1 mm and 4 mm in diameter). Totally, 87,473,431 clean tags were obtained and assembled into 128,937 transcripts among which 65,857 unigenes were identified with an average length of 1,188 bp. About 52% of unigenes (34,176) were annotated in Nr, Nt, Pfam, KOG/COG, Swiss-Prot, KO (KEGG Ortholog database) and/or GO. Taking the above transcriptome as reference, 125 differentially expressed genes were detected in both developmental stages of MS and MF flower buds. MADS-box genes were presumed to be highly related to male sterility in T. erecta based on histological and cytological observations. Twelve MADS-box genes showed significantly different expression levels in flower buds 4 mm in diameter, whereas only one gene expressed significantly different in flower buds 1 mm in diameter between MS and MF plants. This is the first transcriptome analysis in T. erecta and will provide a valuable resource for future genomic studies, especially in flower organ development and/or differentiation.

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<![CDATA[Beetle pollination and flowering rhythm of Annona coriacea Mart. (Annonaceae) in Brazilian cerrado: Behavioral features of its principal pollinators]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db51ab0ee8fa60bdc207

The conservation and sustainable management of Annona coriacea requires knowledge of its floral and reproductive biology, and of its main pollinators and their life cycles. In this work, we analyzed these aspects in detail. Floral biology was assessed by observing flowers from the beginning of anthesis to senescence. The visiting hours and behavior of floral visitors in the floral chamber were recorded, as were the sites of oviposition. Excavations were undertaken around specimens of A. coriacea to determine the location of immature pollinators. Anthesis was nocturnal, starting at sunset, and lasted for 52–56 h. The flowers were bisexual, protogynous and emitted a strong scent similar to the plant´s own ripe fruit. There was pronounced synchrony among all floral events (the period and duration of stigmatic receptivity, release of odor, pollen release and drooping flowers) in different individuals, but no synchrony in the same individuals. All of the flowers monitored were visited by beetle species of the genera Cyclocephala and Arriguttia. Beetles arrived at the flowers with their bodies covered in pollen and these pollen grains were transferred to the stigmata while foraging on nutritious tissues at the base of the petals. With dehiscence of the stamens and retention within the floral chamber, the bodies of the floral visitors were again covered with pollen which they carried to newly opened flowers, thus promoting the cycle of pollination. After leaving the flowers, female beetles often excavated holes in the soil to lay eggs. Larvae were found between the leaf litter and the first layer of soil under specimens of A. coriacea. Cyclocephala beetles were the main pollinators of A. coriacea, but Arriguttia brevissima was also considered a pollinator and is the first species of this genus to be observed in Annonaceae flowers. Annona coriacea was found to be self-compatible with a low reproductive efficiency in the area studied. The results of this investigation provide ecological data that should contribute to the conservation and economic exploitation of A. coriacea.

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<![CDATA[Telipogon peruvianus (Orchidaceae) Flowers Elicit Pre-Mating Behaviour in Eudejeania (Tachinidae) Males for Pollination]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9e0ab0ee8fa60b69316

Several neotropical orchid genera have been proposed as being sexually deceptive; however, this has been carefully tested in only a few cases. The genus Telipogon has long been assumed to be pollinated by male tachinid flies during pseudocopulatory events but no detailed confirmatory reports are available. Here, we have used an array of methods to elucidate the pollination mechanism in Telipogon peruvianus. The species presents flowers that have a mean floral longevity of 33 days and that are self-compatible, although spontaneous self-pollination does not occur. The flowers attract males of four tachinid species but only the males of an undescribed Eudejeania (Eudejeania aff. browni; Tachinidae) species are specific pollinators. Males visit the flowers during the first few hours of the day and the pollination success is very high (42% in one patch) compared with other sexually deceptive species. Female-seeking males are attracted to the flowers but do not attempt copulation with the flowers, as is usually described in sexually deceptive species. Nevertheless, morphological analysis and behavioural tests have shown an imperfect mimicry between flowers and females suggesting that the attractant stimulus is not based only on visual cues, as long thought. Challenging previous conclusions, our chemical analysis has confirmed that flowers of Telipogon release volatile compounds; however, the role of these volatiles in pollinator behaviour remains to be established. Pollinator behaviour and histological analyses indicate that Telipogon flowers possess scent-producing structures throughout the corolla. Our study provides the first confirmed case of (i) a sexually deceptive species in the Onciidinae, (ii) pollination by pre-copulatory behaviour and (iii) pollination by sexual deception involving tachinid flies.

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<![CDATA[The N-Terminus of the Floral Arabidopsis TGA Transcription Factor PERIANTHIA Mediates Redox-Sensitive DNA-Binding]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9e6ab0ee8fa60b6b5f8

The Arabidopsis TGA transcription factor (TF) PERIANTHIA (PAN) regulates the formation of the floral organ primordia as revealed by the pan mutant forming an abnormal pentamerous arrangement of the outer three floral whorls. The Arabidopsis TGA bZIP TF family comprises 10 members, of which PAN and TGA9/10 control flower developmental processes and TGA1/2/5/6 participate in stress-responses. For the TGA1 protein it was shown that several cysteines can be redox-dependently modified. TGA proteins interact in the nucleus with land plant-specific glutaredoxins, which may alter their activities posttranslationally. Here, we investigated the DNA-binding of PAN to the AAGAAT motif under different redox-conditions. The AAGAAT motif is localized in the second intron of the floral homeotic regulator AGAMOUS (AG), which controls stamen and carpel development as well as floral determinacy. Whereas PAN protein binds to this regulatory cis-element under reducing conditions, the interaction is strongly reduced under oxidizing conditions in EMSA studies. The redox-sensitive DNA-binding is mediated via a special PAN N-terminus, which is not present in other Arabidopsis TGA TFs and comprises five cysteines. Two N-terminal PAN cysteines, Cys68 and Cys87, were shown to form a disulfide bridge and Cys340, localized in a C-terminal putative transactivation domain, can be S-glutathionylated. Comparative land plant analyses revealed that the AAGAAT motif exists in asterid and rosid plant species. TGA TFs with N-terminal extensions of variable length were identified in all analyzed seed plants. However, a PAN-like N-terminus exists only in the rosids and exclusively Brassicaceae homologs comprise four to five of the PAN N-terminal cysteines. Redox-dependent modifications of TGA cysteines are known to regulate the activity of stress-related TGA TFs. Here, we show that the N-terminal PAN cysteines participate in a redox-dependent control of the PAN interaction with a highly conserved regulatory AG cis-element, emphasizing the importance of redox-modifications in the regulation of flower developmental processes.

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<![CDATA[Phylogenetic reassessment of tribe Anemoneae (Ranunculaceae): Non-monophyly of Anemone s.l. revealed by plastid datasets]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdc104

Morphological and molecular evidence strongly supported the monophyly of tribe Anemoneae DC.; however, phylogenetic relationships among genera of this tribe have still not been fully resolved. In this study, we sampled 120 specimens representing 82 taxa of tribe Anemoneae. One nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (nrITS) and six plastid markers (atpB-rbcL, matK, psbA-trnQ, rpoB-trnC, rbcL and rps16) were amplified and sequenced. Both Maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference methods were used to reconstruct phylogenies for this tribe. Individual datasets supported all traditional genera as monophyletic, except Anemone and Clematis that were polyphyletic and paraphyletic, respectively, and revealed that the seven single-gene datasets can be split into two groups, i.e. nrITS + atpB-rbcL and the remaining five plastid markers. The combined nrITS + atpB-rbcL dataset recovered monophyly of subtribes Anemoninae (i.e. Anemone s.l.) and Clematidinae (including Anemoclema), respectively. However, the concatenated plastid dataset showed that one group of subtribes Anemoninae (Hepatica and Anemone spp. from subgenus Anemonidium) close to the clade Clematis s.l. + Anemoclema. Our results strongly supported a close relationship between Anemoclema and Clematis s.l., which included Archiclematis and Naravelia. Non-monophyly of Anemone s.l. using the plastid dataset indicates to revise as two genera, new Anemone s.l. (including Pulsatilla, Barneoudia, Oreithales and Knowltonia), Hepatica (corresponding to Anemone subgenus Anemonidium).

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<![CDATA[Phylogeny and reclassification of Aconitum subgenus Lycoctonum (Ranunculaceae)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdcc0d

Phylogenetic analyses were performed using multiple nuclear (ITS and ETS) and chloroplast regions (ndhF-trnL, psbA-trnH, psbD-trnT, and trnT-trnL) to test the monophyly of Aconitum subgen. Lycoctonum (Ranunculaceae) and reconstruct the phylogenetic relationships within the subgenus. The subgenus as currently circumscribed is revealed to be polyphyletic. To achieve its monophyly, sect. Galeata and sect. Fletcherum, both being unispecific and each having a unique array of characters (the latter even having the aberrant base chromosome number of x = 6), must be removed from the subgenus. The subgenus Lycoctonum should thus be redefined to include only two sections, the unispecific sect. Alatospermum and the relatively species-rich sect. Lycoctonum. The section Alatospermum, which is both morphologically and karyologically in the primitive condition, is resolved as the first diverging lineage of the subgenus Lycoctonum clade. The monophyly of sect. Lycoctonum is strongly supported, but all the ten series currently recognized within the section are revealed to be para- or poly-phyletic. Five major clades are recovered within the section. We propose to treat them as five series: ser. Crassiflora, ser. Scaposa, ser. Volubilia, ser. Longicassidata, and ser. Lycoctonia. Thus, a formal reclassification of subgen. Lycoctonum is presented, which involves segregating both sect. Galeata and sect. Fletcherum from the subgenus as two independent subgenera within the genus Aconitum, reinstating one series (ser. Crassiflora) and abolishing six series (ser. Laevia, ser. Longibracteolata, ser. Micrantha, ser. Ranunculoidea, ser. Reclinata, and ser. Umbrosa) within sect. Lycoctonum. The series affiliation of some species within the section is adjusted accordingly.

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<![CDATA[Discovering Karima (Euphorbiaceae), a New Crotonoid Genus from West Tropical Africa Long Hidden within Croton]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f4ab0ee8fa60b6f9c6

Croton scarciesii (Euphorbiaceae-Crotonoideae), a rheophytic shrub from West Africa, is shown to have been misplaced in Croton for 120 years, having none of the diagnostic characters of that genus, but rather a set of characters present in no known genus of the family. Pollen analysis shows that the new genus Karima belongs to the inaperturate crotonoid group. Analysis of a concatenated molecular dataset combining trnL-F and rbcL sequences positioned Karima as sister to Neoholstia from south eastern tropical Africa in a well-supported clade comprised of genera of subtribes Grosserineae and Neoboutonieae of the inaperturate crotonoid genera. Several morphological characters support the relationship of Karima with Neoholstia, yet separation is merited by numerous characters usually associated with generic rank in Euphorbiaceae. Quantitative ecological data and a conservation assessment supplement illustrations and descriptions of the taxon.

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<![CDATA[Characterization and Functional Analysis of Five MADS-Box B Class Genes Related to Floral Organ Identification in Tagetes erecta]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9efab0ee8fa60b6db9c

According to the floral organ development ABC model, B class genes specify petal and stamen identification. In order to study the function of B class genes in flower development of Tagetes erecta, five MADS-box B class genes were identified and their expression and putative functions were studied. Sequence comparisons and phylogenetic analyses indicated that there were one PI-like gene—TePI, two euAP3-like genes—TeAP3-1 and TeAP3-2, and two TM6-like genes—TeTM6-1 and TeTM6-2 in T. erecta. Strong expression levels of these genes were detected in stamens of the disk florets, but little or no expression was detected in bracts, receptacles or vegetative organs. Yeast hybrid experiments of the B class proteins showed that TePI protein could form a homodimer and heterodimers with all the other four B class proteins TeAP3-1, TeAP3-2, TeTM6-1 and TeTM6-2. No homodimer or interaction was observed between the euAP3 and TM6 clade members. Over-expression of five B class genes of T. erecta in Nicotiana rotundifolia showed that only the transgenic plants of 35S::TePI showed altered floral morphology compared with the non-transgenic line. This study could contribute to the understanding of the function of B class genes in flower development of T. erecta, and provide a theoretical basis for further research to change floral organ structures and create new materials for plant breeding.

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<![CDATA[Ecophenotypic Variation and Developmental Instability in the Late Cretaceous Echinoid Micraster brevis (Irregularia; Spatangoida)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da66ab0ee8fa60b91dc1

The Late Cretaceous echinoid genus Micraster (irregular echinoids, Spatangoida) is one of the most famous examples of a continuous evolutionary lineage in invertebrate palaeontology. The influence of the environment on the phenotype, however, was not tested so far. This study analyses differences in phenotypical variations within three populations of Micraster (Gibbaster) brevis from the early Coniacian, two from the Münsterland Cretaceous Basin (Germany) and one from the North Cantabrian Basin (Spain). The environments of the Spanish and the German sites differed by their sedimentary characteristics, which are generally a crucial factor for morphological adaptations in echinoids. Most of the major phenotypical variations (position of the ambitus, periproct and development of the subanal fasciole) among the populations can be linked to differences in their host sediments. These phenotypic variations are presumed to be an expression of phenotpic plasticiy, which has not been considered in Micraster in previous studies. Two populations (Erwitte area, Germany; Liencres area, Spain) were tested for stochastic variation (fluctuating asymmetry) due to developmental instability, which was present in all studied traits. However, differences in the amount of fluctuating asymmetry between both populations were recognised only in one trait (amount of pore pairs in the anterior paired petals). The results strengthen previous assumptions on ecophenotypic variations in Micraster.

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<![CDATA[Transgenic Suppression of AGAMOUS Genes in Apple Reduces Fertility and Increases Floral Attractiveness]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9d3ab0ee8fa60b64dd4

We investigated the ability of RNA interference (RNAi) directed against two co-orthologs of AGAMOUS (AG) from Malus domestica (domestic apple, MdAG) to reduce the risks of invasiveness and provide genetic containment of transgenes, while also promoting the attractiveness of flowers for ornamental usage. Suppression of two MdAG-like genes, MdMADS15 and MdMADS22, led to the production of trees with highly showy, polypetalous flowers. These “double-flowers” had strongly reduced expression of both MdAG-like genes. Members of the two other clades within in the MdAG subfamily showed mild to moderate differences in gene expression, or were unchanged, with the level of suppression approximately proportional to the level of sequence identity between the gene analyzed and the RNAi fragment. The double-flowers also exhibited reduced male and female fertility, had few viable pollen grains, a decreased number of stigmas, and produced few viable seeds after cross-pollination. Despite these floral alterations, RNAi-AG trees with double-flowers set full-sized fruit. Suppression or mutation of apple AG-like genes appears to be a promising method for combining genetic containment with improved floral attractiveness.

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<![CDATA[Flowering after disaster: Early Danian buckthorn (Rhamnaceae) flowers and leaves from Patagonia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5aab0ee8fa60bdf6b4

Southern-Hemisphere terrestrial communities from the early Paleocene are poorly known, but recent work on Danian plant fossils from the Salamanca Formation in Chubut Province, Argentina are providing critical data on earliest Paleocene floras. The fossils described here come from a site in the Salamanca Formation dating to ca. 1 million years or less after the end-Cretaceous extinction event; they are the first fossil flowers reported from the Danian of South America, and possible the entire Southern Hemisphere. They are compressions and impressions in flat-laminated light gray shale, and they belong to the family Rhamnaceae (buckthorns). Flowers of Notiantha grandensis gen. et sp. nov. are pentamerous, with distinctly keeled calyx lobes projecting from the hypanthium, clawed and cucullate emarginate petals, antepetalous stamens, and a pentagonal floral disk that fills the hypanthium. Their phylogenetic position was evaluated using a molecular scaffold approach combined with morphological data. Results indicate that the flowers are most like those of extant ziziphoid Rhamnaceae. The associated leaves, assigned to Suessenia grandensis gen. et sp. nov. are simple and ovate, with serrate margins and three acrodromous basal veins. They conform to the distinctive leaves of some extant Rhamnaceae in the ziziphoid and ampelozizyphoid clades. These fossils provide the first unequivocal megafossil evidence of Rhamnaceae in the Southern Hemisphere, demonstrating that Rhamnaceae expanded beyond the tropics by the earliest Paleocene. Given previous reports of rhamnaceous pollen in the late Paleogene and Neogene of Antarctica and southern Australia, this new occurrence increases the possibility of high-latitude dispersal of this family between South America and Australia via Antarctica during the Cenozoic.

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<![CDATA[Characterizing Floral Symmetry in the Core Goodeniaceae with Geometric Morphometrics]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da94ab0ee8fa60ba1281

Core Goodeniaceae is a clade of ~330 species primarily distributed in Australia. Considerable variation in flower morphology exists within this group and we aim to use geometric morphometrics to characterize this variation across the two major subclades: Scaevola sensu lato (s.l.) and Goodenia s.l., the latter of which was hypothesized to exhibit greater variability in floral symmetry form. We test the hypothesis that floral morphological variation can be adequately characterized by our morphometric approach, and that discrete groups of floral symmetry morphologies exist, which broadly correlate with subjectively determined groups. From 335 images of 44 species in the Core Goodeniaceae, two principal components were computed that describe >98% of variation in all datasets. Increasing values of PC1 ventralize the dorsal petals (increasing the angle between them), whereas increasing values of PC2 primarily ventralize the lateral petals (decreasing the angle between them). Manipulation of these two morphological “axes” alone was sufficient to recreate any of the general floral symmetry patterns in the Core Goodeniaceae. Goodenia s.l. exhibits greater variance than Scaevola s.l. in PC1 and PC2, and has a significantly lower mean value for PC1. Clustering clearly separates fan-flowers (with dorsal petals at least 120° separated) from the others, whereas the distinction between pseudo-radial and bilabiate clusters is less clear and may form a continuum rather than two distinct groups. Transitioning from the average fan-flower to the average non-fan-flower is described almost exclusively by PC1, whereas PC2 partially describes the transition between bilabiate and pseudo-radial morphologies. Our geometric morphometric method accurately models Core Goodeniaceae floral symmetry diversity.

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<![CDATA[Red Anthocyanins and Yellow Carotenoids Form the Color of Orange-Flower Gentian (Gentiana lutea L. var. aurantiaca)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da53ab0ee8fa60b8e6aa

Flower color is an important characteristic that determines the commercial value of ornamental plants. Gentian flowers occur in a limited range of colors because this species is not widely cultivated as a cut flower. Gentiana lutea L. var. aurantiaca (abbr, aurantiaca) is characterized by its orange flowers, but the specific pigments responsible for this coloration are unknown. We therefore investigated the carotenoid and flavonoid composition of petals during flower development in the orange-flowered gentian variety of aurantiaca and the yellow-flowered variety of G. lutea L. var. lutea (abbr, lutea). We observed minor varietal differences in the concentration of carotenoids at the early and final stages, but only aurantiaca petals accumulated pelargonidin glycosides, whereas these compounds were not found in lutea petals. We cloned and sequenced the anthocyanin biosynthetic gene fragments from petals, and analyzed the expression of these genes in the petals of both varieties to determine the molecular mechanisms responsible for the differences in petal color. Comparisons of deduced amino acid sequences encoded by the isolated anthocyanin cDNA fragments indicated that chalcone synthase (CHS), chalcone isomerase (CHI), anthocyanidin synthase 1 (ANS1) and ANS2 are identical in both aurantiaca and lutea varieties whereas minor amino acid differences of the deduced flavonone 3-hydroxylase (F3H) and dihydroflavonol 4-reductase (DFR) between both varieties were observed. The aurantiaca petals expressed substantially higher levels of transcripts representing CHS, F3H, DFR, ANS and UDP-glucose:flavonoid-3-O-glucosyltransferase genes, compared to lutea petals. Pelargonidin glycoside synthesis in aurantiaca petals therefore appears to reflect the higher steady-state levels of pelargonidin synthesis transcripts. Moreover, possible changes in the substrate specificity of DFR enzymes may represent additional mechanisms for producing red pelargonidin glycosides in petals of aurantiaca. Our report describing the exclusive accumulation of pelargonidin glycosides in aurantiaca petals may facilitate the modification of gentian flower color by the production of red anthocyanins.

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<![CDATA[Evolution of anatomical characters in Acianthera section Pleurobotryae (Orchidaceae: Pleurothallidinae)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c92b3bad5eed0c4843a46e1

Acianthera section Pleurobotryae is one of ten sections of the genus Acianthera and include four species endemic to the Atlantic Forest. The objective of this study was to describe comparatively the anatomy of vegetative organs and floral micromorphology of all species of Acianthera section Pleurobotryae in order to identify diagnostic characters between them and synapomorphies for the section in relation of other sections of the genus. We analyzed roots, ramicauls, leaves and flowers of 15 species, covering eight of the nine sections of Acianthera, using light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. Acianthera section Pleurobotryae is a monophyletic group and the cladistic analyses of anatomical and flower micromorphology data, combined with molecular data, support internal relationship hypotheses among the representatives of this section. The synapomorphies identified for A. sect. Pleurobotryae are based on leaf anatomy: unifacial leaves, round or elliptical in cross-section, round leaves with vascular bundles organized in concentric circles, and mesophyll with 28 to 30 cell layers. Within the section, the clade (A. crepiniana + A. mantiquyrana) presented more differences in vegetative organ morphology and higher support values in combined analyses when compared to the second clade, (A. atropurpurea + A. hatschbachii). For each of these clades an exclusive set of homoplasies of vegetative and floral organs were also identified. The results support the argument that vegetative organs are more evolutionarily stable in comparison to reproductive organs and thus helpful for inference of internal phylogenetic relationships in Acianthera, while flowers are highly variable, perhaps due to the diversity of pollinator attraction mechanisms. The analyses indicate that the elliptical leaves observed in A. crepiniana have originated from round leaves observed in the other species of this section, suggesting an adaptation to increase the area of exposure of the leaf and better the efficiency of capture of sunlight in shaded environments such as the Atlantic Forest. The presence of papillose regions in both vegetative and floral organs indicated that micromorphological characters are also useful for the delimitation of species and sections within the genus.

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<![CDATA[Alphonsea glandulosa (Annonaceae), a New Species from Yunnan, China]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdb8ca

Alphonsea glandulosa sp. nov. is described from Yunnan Province in south-west China. It is easily distinguished from all previously described Alphonsea species by the possession of glandular tissue at the base of the adaxial surface of the inner petals. Nectar was observed throughout the flowering period, including the pistillate phase and subsequent staminate phase. Small curculionid beetles were observed as floral visitors and are inferred to be effective pollinators since they carry pollen grains. A phylogenetic analysis was conducted to confirm the placement of this new species within Alphonsea and the evolution of the inner petal glands and specialized pollinator reward tissues throughout the family.

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