ResearchPad - plant-phylogenetics https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Codon Pairs are Phylogenetically Conserved: A comprehensive analysis of codon pairing conservation across the Tree of Life]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14487 Identical codon pairing and co-tRNA codon pairing increase translational efficiency within genes when two codons that encode the same amino acid are translated by the same tRNA before it diffuses from the ribosome. We examine the phylogenetic signal in both identical and co-tRNA codon pairing across 23 428 species using alignment-free and parsimony methods. We determined that conserved codon pairing typically has a smaller window size than the length of a ribosome, and codon pairing tracks phylogenies across various taxonomic groups. We report a comprehensive analysis of codon pairing, including the extent to which each codon pairs. Our parsimony method generally recovers phylogenies that are more congruent with the established phylogenies than our alignment-free method. However, four of the ten taxonomic groups did not have sufficient orthologous codon pairings and were therefore analyzed using only the alignment-free methods. Since the recovered phylogenies using only codon pairing largely match phylogenies from the Open Tree of Life and the NCBI taxonomy, and are comparable to trees recovered by other algorithms, we propose that codon pairing biases are phylogenetically conserved and should be considered in conjunction with other phylogenomic techniques.

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<![CDATA[Regional and global shifts in crop diversity through the Anthropocene]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c648ceed5eed0c484c81b0f

The Anthropocene epoch is partly defined by anthropogenic spread of crops beyond their centres of origin. At global scales, evidence indicates that species-level taxonomic diversity of crops being cultivated on large-scale agricultural lands has increased linearly over the past 50 years. Yet environmental and socio-economic differences support expectations that temporal changes in crop diversity vary across regions. Ecological theory also suggests that changes in crop taxonomic diversity may not necessarily reflect changes in the evolutionary diversity of crops. We used data from the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations to assess changes in crop taxonomic- and phylogenetic diversity across 22 subcontinental-scale regions from 1961–2014. We document certain broad consistencies across nearly all regions: i) little change in crop diversity from 1961 through to the late 1970s; followed by ii) a 10-year period of sharp diversification through the early 1980s; followed by iii) a “levelling-off” of crop diversification beginning in the early 1990s. However, the specific onset and duration of these distinct periods differs significantly across regions and are unrelated to agricultural expansion, indicating that unique policy or environmental conditions influence the crops being grown within a given region. Additionally, while the 1970s and 1980s are defined by region-scale increases in crop diversity this period marks the increasing dominance of a small number of crop species and lineages; a trend resulting in detectable increases in the similarity of crops being grown across regions. Broad similarities in the species-level taxonomic and phylogenetic diversity of crops being grown across regions, primarily at large industrial scales captured by FAO data, represent a unique feature of the Anthropocene epoch. Yet nuanced asymmetries in regional-scale trends suggest that environmental and socio-economic factors play a key role in shaping observed macro-ecological changes in the plant diversity on agricultural lands.

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<![CDATA[Internal Transcribed Spacer 2 (nu ITS2 rRNA) Sequence-Structure Phylogenetics: Towards an Automated Reconstruction of the Green Algal Tree of Life]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da73ab0ee8fa60b95bfe

Background

Chloroplast-encoded genes (matK and rbcL) have been formally proposed for use in DNA barcoding efforts targeting embryophytes. Extending such a protocol to chlorophytan green algae, though, is fraught with problems including non homology (matK) and heterogeneity that prevents the creation of a universal PCR toolkit (rbcL). Some have advocated the use of the nuclear-encoded, internal transcribed spacer two (ITS2) as an alternative to the traditional chloroplast markers. However, the ITS2 is broadly perceived to be insufficiently conserved or to be confounded by introgression or biparental inheritance patterns, precluding its broad use in phylogenetic reconstruction or as a DNA barcode. A growing body of evidence has shown that simultaneous analysis of nucleotide data with secondary structure information can overcome at least some of the limitations of ITS2. The goal of this investigation was to assess the feasibility of an automated, sequence-structure approach for analysis of IT2 data from a large sampling of phylum Chlorophyta.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Sequences and secondary structures from 591 chlorophycean, 741 trebouxiophycean and 938 ulvophycean algae, all obtained from the ITS2 Database, were aligned using a sequence structure-specific scoring matrix. Phylogenetic relationships were reconstructed by Profile Neighbor-Joining coupled with a sequence structure-specific, general time reversible substitution model. Results from analyses of the ITS2 data were robust at multiple nodes and showed considerable congruence with results from published phylogenetic analyses.

Conclusions/Significance

Our observations on the power of automated, sequence-structure analyses of ITS2 to reconstruct phylum-level phylogenies of the green algae validate this approach to assessing diversity for large sets of chlorophytan taxa. Moreover, our results indicate that objections to the use of ITS2 for DNA barcoding should be weighed against the utility of an automated, data analysis approach with demonstrated power to reconstruct evolutionary patterns for highly divergent lineages.

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<![CDATA[Culture and Hybridization Experiments on an Ulva Clade Including the Qingdao Strain Blooming in the Yellow Sea]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa1ab0ee8fa60ba5d45

In the summer of 2008, immediately prior to the Beijing Olympics, a massive green tide of the genus Ulva covered the Qingdao coast of the Yellow Sea in China. Based on molecular analyses using the nuclear encoded rDNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region, the Qingdao strains dominating the green tide were reported to be included in a single phylogenetic clade, currently regarded as a single species. On the other hand, our detailed phylogenetic analyses of the clade, using a higher resolution DNA marker, suggested that two genetically separate entities could be included within the clade. However, speciation within the Ulva clade has not yet been examined. We examined the occurrence of an intricate speciation within the clade, including the Qingdao strains, via combined studies of culture, hybridization and phylogenetic analysis. The two entities separated by our phylogenetic analyses of the clade were simply distinguished as U. linza and U. prolifera morphologically by the absence or presence of branches in cultured thalli. The inclusion of sexual strains and several asexual strains were found in each taxon. Hybridizations among the sexual strains also supported the separation by a partial gamete incompatibility. The sexually reproducing Qingdao strains crossed with U. prolifera without any reproductive boundary, but a complete reproductive isolation to U. linza occurred by gamete incompatibility. The results demonstrate that the U. prolifera group includes two types of sexual strains distinguishable by crossing affinity to U. linza. Species identification within the Ulva clade requires high resolution DNA markers and/or hybridization experiments and is not possible by reliance on the ITS markers alone.

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<![CDATA[An Evaluation of Putative Sympatric Speciation within Limnanthes (Limnanthaceae)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db03ab0ee8fa60bc7594

Limnanthes floccosa ssp. floccosa and L. floccosa ssp. grandiflora are two of five subspecies within Limnanthes floccosa endemic to vernal pools in southern Oregon and northern California. Three seasons of monitoring natural populations have quantified that L. floccosa ssp. grandiflora is always found growing sympatrically with L. floccosa ssp. floccosa and that their flowering times overlap considerably. Despite their subspecific rank within the same species crossing experiments have confirmed that their F1 hybrids are sterile. An analysis of twelve microsatellite markers, with unique alleles in each taxon, also shows exceedingly low levels of gene flow between populations of the two subspecies. Due to the lack of previous phylogenetic resolution among L. floccosa subspecies, we used Illumina next generation sequencing to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms from genomic DNA libraries of L. floccosa ssp. floccosa and L. floccosa ssp. grandiflora. These data were used to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms in the chloroplast, mitochondrial, and nuclear genomes. From these variable loci, a total of 2772 bp was obtained using Sanger sequencing of ten individuals representing all subspecies of L. floccosa and an outgroup. The resulting phylogenetic reconstruction was fully resolved. Our results indicate that although L. floccosa ssp. floccosa and L. floccosa ssp. grandiflora are closely related, they are not sister taxa and therefore likely did not diverge as a result of a sympatric speciation event.

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<![CDATA[A Continental-Wide Perspective: The Genepool of Nuclear Encoded Ribosomal DNA and Single-Copy Gene Sequences in North American Boechera (Brassicaceae)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da93ab0ee8fa60ba1076

74 of the currently accepted 111 taxa of the North American genus Boechera (Brassicaceae) were subject to pyhlogenetic reconstruction and network analysis. The dataset comprised 911 accessions for which ITS sequences were analyzed. Phylogenetic analyses yielded largely unresolved trees. Together with the network analysis confirming this result this can be interpreted as an indication for multiple, independent, and rapid diversification events. Network analyses were superimposed with datasets describing i) geographical distribution, ii) taxonomy, iii) reproductive mode, and iv) distribution history based on phylogeographic evidence. Our results provide first direct evidence for enormous reticulate evolution in the entire genus and give further insights into the evolutionary history of this complex genus on a continental scale. In addition two novel single-copy gene markers, orthologues of the Arabidopsis thaliana genes At2g25920 and At3g18900, were analyzed for subsets of taxa and confirmed the findings obtained through the ITS data.

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<![CDATA[Sinocurculigo, a New Genus of Hypoxidaceae from China Based on Molecular and Morphological Evidence]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da71ab0ee8fa60b94d45

Background

The monocot family Hypoxidaceae consists of nine genera with nearly 200 species. They occur mostly in the Southern Hemisphere with only a few species in the Northern Hemisphere, of which three genera, Hypoxis, Molineria, and Curculigo, with eight species are distributed in China. Recently, we have found a hypoxid-like plant in China that is quite different in floral structure from any of the three genera and even of the known taxa in Hypoxidaceae.

Methodology/Principal Findings

In addition to morphological analysis, we performed maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian inference analyses based on fragments of the chloroplast matK and rbcL genes of 60 taxa in 12 families representing all major clades of the Hypoxidaceae alliance. Results showed that Hypoxidaceae is monophyletic and and that the new plant belongs to it, forming a distinct clade within the family Hypoxidaceae as a sister of Molineria. Phylogeny of the Hypoxidaceae family was constructed based on a combined matrix of the chloroplast rbcL, trnS-G, and trnL-F regions of 59 taxa in Hypoxidaceae and its alliance. Findings of the molecular investigation is consistent with those of the morphological analysis.

Conclusions/Significance

Based on the results of our molecular and morphological analyses in the present study, we propose a new genus, Sinocurculigo.

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<![CDATA[Evolution of Growth Habit, Inflorescence Architecture, Flower Size, and Fruit Type in Rubiaceae: Its Ecological and Evolutionary Implications]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9e0ab0ee8fa60b69701

During angiosperm evolution, innovations in vegetative and reproductive organs have resulted in tremendous morphological diversity, which has played a crucial role in the ecological success of flowering plants. Morindeae (Rubiaceae) display considerable diversity in growth form, inflorescence architecture, flower size, and fruit type. Lianescent habit, head inflorescence, small flower, and multiple fruit are the predominant states, but arborescent habit, non-headed inflorescence, large flower, and simple fruit states occur in various genera. This makes Morindeae an ideal model for exploring the evolutionary appearances and transitions between the states of these characters. We reconstructed ancestral states for these four traits using a Bayesian approach and combined nuclear/chloroplast data for 61 Morindeae species. The aim was to test three hypotheses: 1) self-supporting habit is generally ancestral in clades comprising both lianescent and arborescent species; 2) changes from lianescent to arborescent habit are uncommon due to “a high degree of specialization and developmental burden”; 3) head inflorescences and multiple fruits in Morindeae evolved from non-headed inflorescences and simple fruits, respectively. Lianescent habit, head inflorescence, large flower, and multiple fruit are inferred for Morindeae, making arborescent habit, non-headed inflorescence, small flower, and simple fruit derived within the tribe. The rate of change from lianescent to arborescent habit is much higher than the reverse change. Therefore, evolutionary changes between lianescent and arborescent forms can be reversible, and their frequency and trends vary between groups. Moreover, these changes are partly attributed to a scarcity of host trees for climbing plants in more open habitats. Changes from large to small flowers might have been driven by shifts to pollinators with progressively shorter proboscis, which are associated with shifts in breeding systems towards dioecy. A single origin of dioecy from hermaphroditism is supported. Finally, we report evolutionary changes from headed to non-headed inflorescences and multiple to simple fruits.

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<![CDATA[Prunus pananensis (Rosaceae), a New Species from Pan'an of Central Zhejiang, China]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dae1ab0ee8fa60bbc0e5

Prunus pananensis Z. L. Chen, W. J. Chen & X. F. Jin, a new species of Rosaceae from central Zhejiang, China is described and illustrated. Micromorphological characters of the indumentum on young shoots, leaves, petioles and peduncles, including scanning electron microscope [SEM] images, are provided. This new species is morphologically similar to P. schneiderianae Koehne in having its young shoots, petioles and pedicels all densely villose, but differs in having bracts persistent, styles glabrous, stipules 8–9 mm long, stamens 28–30 of per flower, and drupes glabrous. The new species is also similar to P. discoidea (Yü & C. L. Li) Yü & C. L. Li ex Z. Wei & Y. B. Chang in having 2 or 3 flowers in an umbellate inflorescence, and bracts persistent and marginally glandular, but it differs in having young shoots and petioles densely covered with yellowish-brown villose trichomes; leaves rounded or slightly cordate at base, the mid-ribs and lateral veins abaxially densely covered with yellowish-brown villose trichomes; and hypanthium ca. 3 mm long, shorter than sepals. The atpB-rbcL and trnL-F intergenic chloroplast spacers are selected for identification of the new and its similar species.

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<![CDATA[Ixeridium calcicola (Compositae), a New Limestone Endemic from Taiwan, with Notes on Its Atypical Basic Chromosome Number, Phylogenetic Affinities, and a Limestone Refugium Hypothesis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db29ab0ee8fa60bd0d1e

A new species Ixeridium calcicola (Compositae) endemic to middle altitude (ca 1,000–2,000 m asl) limestone mountains of eastcentral Taiwan is described based on morphological and chromosome cytological observations and molecular phylogenetic analyses. Ixeridium calcicola resembles Ixeridium transnokoense, endemic to upper montane and alpine ranges (2,600–3,500 m asl) of Taiwan, in the dwarf habit, but differs in the oblong to lanceolate leaf blades (vs. linear to linear-lanceolate), the presence of mucronulate teeth on the leaf margin and petiole (vs. smooth to very sparse), the dark purple lower leaf surface (vs. greenish), the capitulum with 10 to 12 florets (vs. 5 to 7) and 8 to 10 inner phyllaries (vs. 5, rarely to 7). The basic chromosome number in Ixeridium was known as X = 7. However, the new species has a basic chromosome number of X = 8, as recorded also in the closely related Ixeris. Molecular phylogenetic analyses with the expanded sampling of Ixeridium and Ixeris including both type species supported the monophyly of each of the genera and the placement of the new species in Ixeridium. The result of the phylogenetic analyses and detailed observation of the chromosome morphology revealed that X = 8 in Ixeridium calcicola is derived from centric fission in an ancestral karyomorphotype with X = 7 in Ixeridium. Ixeridium calcicola and Ixeridium transnokoense formed a Taiwan endemic lineage and their estimated divergence time was in the middle Pleistocene. Their common ancestral lineage may have experienced altitudinal distribution shifts in response to glacial-interglacial temperature fluctuation, and a lineage which had not retreated to alpine ranges in an interglacial period likely survived in a limestone refugium, where ordinary plant species did not grow, leading to allopatric speciation.

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<![CDATA[Spatial, Phylogenetic, Environmental and Biological Components of Variation in Extinction Risk: A Case Study Using Banksia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dab0ab0ee8fa60bab117

Comparative analyses of extinction risk routinely apply methods that account for phylogenetic non-independence, but few analyses of extinction risk have addressed the possibility of spatial non-independence. We explored patterns of extinction risk in Banksia, a plant genus largely endemic to Australia’s southwest biodiversity hotspot, using methods to partition the variance in two response variables (threat status and range size) into phylogenetic, spatial, and independent components. We then estimated the effects of a number of biological and external predictors on extinction risk independently of phylogeny and space. The models explained up to 34.2% of the variation in range size and up to 9.7% of the variation in threat status, nearly all of which was accounted for by the predictors, not by phylogeny or space. In the case of Banksia, therefore, high extinction risk can be clearly linked with biological syndromes (such as a brief flowering period) or geographic indicators of human impact (such as extensive habitat loss), but cannot be predicted from phylogenetic relatedness or geographic proximity.

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<![CDATA[Great Genetic Differentiation among Populations of Meconopsis integrifolia and Its Implication for Plant Speciation in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da79ab0ee8fa60b97d9c

The complex tectonic events and climatic oscillations in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP), the largest and highest plateau in the world, are thought to have had great effects on the evolutionary history of the native plants. Of great interest is to investigate plant population genetic divergence in the QTP and its correlation with the geologic and climatic changes. We conducted a range-wide phylogeographical analysis of M. integrifolia based on the chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) trnL-trnF and trnfM-trnS regions, and defined 26 haplotypes that were phylogenetically divided into six clades dated to the late Tertiary. The six clades correspond, respectively, to highly differentiated population groups that do not overlap in geographic distribution, implying that the mountain ranges acting as corridors or barriers greatly affected the evolutionary history of the QTP plants. The older clade of M. integrifolia only occurs in the southwest of the species' range, whereas the distributions of younger clades extend northeastward in the eastern QTP, suggesting that climatic divergence resulting from the uplift of the QTP triggered the initial divergence of M. integrifolia native to the plateau. Also, the nrDNA ITS region was used to clarify the unexpected phylogenetic relationships of cpDNA haplotypes between M. integrifolia and M. betonicifolia. The topological incongruence between the two phylogenies suggests an ancestral hybridization between the two species. Our study indicates that geographic isolation and hybridization are two important mechanisms responsible for the population differentiation and speciation of Meconopsis, a species-rich genus with complex polyploids.

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<![CDATA[Control of Plant Trichome and Root-Hair Development by a Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) R3 MYB Transcription Factor]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db49ab0ee8fa60bd9a3b

In Arabidopsis thaliana the CPC-like MYB transcription factors [CAPRICE (CPC), TRIPTYCHON (TRY), ENHANCER OF TRY AND CPC 1, 2, 3/CPC-LIKE MYB 3 (ETC1, ETC2, ETC3/CPL3), TRICHOMELESS 1, 2/CPC-LIKE MYB 4 (TCL1, TCL2/CPL4)] and the bHLH transcription factors [GLABRA3 (GL3) and ENHANCER OF GLABRA 3 (EGL3)] are central regulators of trichome and root-hair development. We identified TRY and GL3 homologous genes from the tomato genome and named them SlTRY and SlGL3, respectively. Phylogenic analyses revealed a close relationship between the tomato and Arabidopsis genes. Real-time reverse transcription PCR analyses showed that SlTRY and SlGL3 were predominantly expressed in aerial parts of developing tomato. After transformation into Arabidopsis, CPC::SlTRY inhibited trichome formation and enhanced root-hair differentiation by strongly repressing GL2 expression. On the other hand, GL3::SlGL3 transformation did not show any obvious effect on trichome or non-hair cell differentiation. These results suggest that tomato and Arabidopsis partially use similar transcription factors for epidermal cell differentiation, and that a CPC-like R3 MYB may be a key common regulator of plant trichome and root-hair development.

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<![CDATA[Selection for High Oridonin Yield in the Chinese Medicinal Plant Isodon (Lamiaceae) Using a Combined Phylogenetics and Population Genetics Approach]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daf7ab0ee8fa60bc366b

Oridonin is a diterpenoid with anti-cancer activity that occurs in the Chinese medicinal plant Isodon rubescens and some related species. While the bioactivity of oridonin has been well studied, the extent of natural variation in the production of this compound is poorly known. This study characterizes natural variation in oridonin production in order to guide selection of populations of Isodon with highest oridonin yield. Different populations of I. rubescens and related species were collected in China, and their offspring were grown in a greenhouse. Samples were examined for oridonin content, genotyped using 11 microsatellites, and representatives were sequenced for three phylogenetic markers (ITS, rps16, trnL-trnF). Oridonin production was mapped on a molecular phylogeny of the genus Isodon using samples from each population as well as previously published Genbank sequences. Oridonin has been reported in 12 out of 74 species of Isodon examined for diterpenoids, and the phylogeny indicates that oridonin production has arisen at least three times in the genus. Oridonin production was surprisingly consistent between wild-collected parents and greenhouse-grown offspring, despite evidence of gene flow between oridonin-producing and non-producing populations of Isodon. Additionally, microsatellite genetic distance between individuals was significantly correlated with chemical distance in both parents and offspring. Neither heritability nor correlation with genetic distance were significant when the comparison was restricted to only populations of I. rubescens, but this result should be corroborated using additional samples. Based on these results, future screening of Isodon populations for oridonin yield should initially prioritize a broad survey of all species known to produce oridonin, rather than focusing on multiple populations of one species, such as I. rubescens. Of the samples examined here, I. rubescens or I. japonicus from Henan province would provide the best source of oridonin.

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<![CDATA[Identification of Nicotiana tabacum Linkage Group Corresponding to the Q Chromosome Gene(s) Involved in Hybrid Lethality]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da7eab0ee8fa60b996dc

Background

A linkage map consisting of 24 linkage groups has been constructed using simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers in Nicotiana tabacum. However, chromosomal assignments of all linkage groups have not yet been made. The Q chromosome in N. tabacum encodes a gene or genes triggering hybrid lethality, a phenomenon that causes death of hybrids derived from some crosses.

Methodology/Principal Findings

We identified a linkage group corresponding to the Q chromosome using an interspecific cross between an N. tabacum monosomic line lacking the Q chromosome and N. africana. N. ingulba yielded inviable hybrids after crossing with N. tabacum. SSR markers on the identified linkage group were used to analyze hybrid lethality in this cross. The results implied that one or more genes on the Q chromosome are responsible for hybrid lethality in this cross. Furthermore, the gene(s) responsible for hybrid lethality in the cross N. tabacum × N. africana appear to be on the region of the Q chromosome to which SSR markers PT30342 and PT30365 map.

Conclusions/Significance

Linkage group 11 corresponded to the Q chromosome. We propose a new method to correlate linkage groups with chromosomes in N. tabacum.

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<![CDATA[Oldest Known Eucalyptus Macrofossils Are from South America]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da00ab0ee8fa60b73c2c

The evolutionary history of Eucalyptus and the eucalypts, the larger clade of seven genera including Eucalyptus that today have a natural distribution almost exclusively in Australasia, is poorly documented from the fossil record. Little physical evidence exists bearing on the ancient geographical distributions or morphologies of plants within the clade. Herein, we introduce fossil material of Eucalyptus from the early Eocene (ca. 51.9 Ma) Laguna del Hunco paleoflora of Chubut Province, Argentina; specimens include multiple leaves, infructescences, and dispersed capsules, several flower buds, and a single flower. Morphological similarities that relate the fossils to extant eucalypts include leaf shape, venation, and epidermal oil glands; infructescence structure; valvate capsulate fruits; and operculate flower buds. The presence of a staminophore scar on the fruits links them to Eucalyptus, and the presence of a transverse scar on the flower buds indicates a relationship to Eucalyptus subgenus Symphyomyrtus. Phylogenetic analyses of morphological data alone and combined with aligned sequence data from a prior study including 16 extant eucalypts, one outgroup, and a terminal representing the fossils indicate that the fossils are nested within Eucalyptus. These are the only illustrated Eucalyptus fossils that are definitively Eocene in age, and the only conclusively identified extant or fossil eucalypts naturally occurring outside of Australasia and adjacent Mindanao. Thus, these fossils indicate that the evolution of the eucalypt group is not constrained to a single region. Moreover, they strengthen the taxonomic connections between the Laguna del Hunco paleoflora and extant subtropical and tropical Australasia, one of the three major ecologic-geographic elements of the Laguna del Hunco paleoflora. The age and affinities of the fossils also indicate that Eucalyptus subgenus Symphyomyrtus is older than previously supposed. Paleoecological data indicate that the Patagonian Eucalyptus dominated volcanically disturbed areas adjacent to standing rainforest surrounding an Eocene caldera lake.

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<![CDATA[DNA Damage in Plant Herbarium Tissue]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da69ab0ee8fa60b927cb

Dried plant herbarium specimens are potentially a valuable source of DNA. Efforts to obtain genetic information from this source are often hindered by an inability to obtain amplifiable DNA as herbarium DNA is typically highly degraded. DNA post-mortem damage may not only reduce the number of amplifiable template molecules, but may also lead to the generation of erroneous sequence information. A qualitative and quantitative assessment of DNA post-mortem damage is essential to determine the accuracy of molecular data from herbarium specimens. In this study we present an assessment of DNA damage as miscoding lesions in herbarium specimens using 454-sequencing of amplicons derived from plastid, mitochondrial, and nuclear DNA. In addition, we assess DNA degradation as a result of strand breaks and other types of polymerase non-bypassable damage by quantitative real-time PCR. Comparing four pairs of fresh and herbarium specimens of the same individuals we quantitatively assess post-mortem DNA damage, directly after specimen preparation, as well as after long-term herbarium storage. After specimen preparation we estimate the proportion of gene copy numbers of plastid, mitochondrial, and nuclear DNA to be 2.4–3.8% of fresh control DNA and 1.0–1.3% after long-term herbarium storage, indicating that nearly all DNA damage occurs on specimen preparation. In addition, there is no evidence of preferential degradation of organelle versus nuclear genomes. Increased levels of C→T/G→A transitions were observed in old herbarium plastid DNA, representing 21.8% of observed miscoding lesions. We interpret this type of post-mortem DNA damage-derived modification to have arisen from the hydrolytic deamination of cytosine during long-term herbarium storage. Our results suggest that reliable sequence data can be obtained from herbarium specimens.

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<![CDATA[Genome-Wide Quantitative Trait Locus Mapping Identifies Multiple Major Loci for Brittle Rachis and Threshability in Tibetan Semi-Wild Wheat (Triticum aestivum ssp. tibetanum Shao)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db3cab0ee8fa60bd5044

Tibetan semi-wild wheat (Triticum aestivum ssp. tibetanum Shao) is a semi-wild hexaploid wheat resource that is only naturally distributed in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Brittle rachis and hard threshing are two important characters of Tibetan semi-wild wheat. A whole-genome linkage map of T. aestivum ssp. tibetanum was constructed using a recombinant inbred line population (Q1028×ZM9023) with 186 lines, 564 diversity array technology markers, and 117 simple sequence repeat markers. Phenotypic data on brittle rachis and threshability, as two quantitative traits, were evaluated on the basis of the number of average spike rachis fragments per spike and percent threshability in 2012 and 2013, respectively. Quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping performed using inclusive composite interval mapping analysis clearly identified four QTLs for brittle rachis and three QTLs for threshability. However, three loci on 2DS, 2DL, and 5AL showed pleiotropism for brittle rachis and threshability; they respectively explained 5.3%, 18.6%, and 18.6% of phenotypic variation for brittle rachis and 17.4%, 13.2%, and 35.2% of phenotypic variation for threshability. A locus on 3DS showed an independent effect on brittle rachis, which explained 38.7% of the phenotypic variation. The loci on 2DS and 3DS probably represented the effect of Tg and Br1, respectively. The locus on 5AL was in very close proximity to the Q gene, but was different from the predicted q in Tibetan semi-wild wheat. To our knowledge, the locus on 2DL has never been reported in common wheat but was prominent in T. aestivum ssp. tibetanum accession Q1028. It remarkably interacted with the locus on 5AL to affect brittle rachis. Several major loci for brittle rachis and threshability were identified in Tibetan semi-wild wheat, improving the understanding of these two characters and suggesting the occurrence of special evolution in Tibetan semi-wild wheat.

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<![CDATA[Paraholcoglossum and Tsiorchis, Two New Orchid Genera Established by Molecular and Morphological Analyses of the Holcoglossum Alliance]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa7ab0ee8fa60ba7eef

Background

Holcoglossum is a small orchid genus of 12 species ranging from SW China to Thailand and NE India. Although molecular and morphological analyses have been performed to establish the phylogenetic relationships within this genus, the interspecific relations and its relations with allied genera, such as Rhynchostylis, Aerides and Vanda, remain unclear.

Methodology/Principal Findings

In addition to morphological analysis, maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian inference analyses were performed based on fragments of the nuclear ITS and chloroplast trnL-F and matK genes of 31 taxa (15 Holcoglossum, 14 Aeridinae, 2 outgroups) representing all major clades of the Holcoglossum alliance. The results suggest that Holcoglossum is triphyletic, comprising three clades: the Holcoglossum clade, its sister clade, and a distant clade more closely related to Rhynchostylis, Aerides, and Vanda than to the Holcoglossum clade. The Holcoglossum clade is further divided into three subclades; the genetic distances between these three subclades also support this delimitation. The molecular conclusion is consistent with their distinct morphological characters.

Conclusions

We propose that the latter two clades comprise two new genera, Paraholcoglossum and Tsiorchis, and Holcoglossum clade divides into three sections. In addition, a new section, Holcoglossum sect. Nujiangensia, and a new species, Holcoglossum linearifolium, are proposed. Some new combinations are made, and a new scheme is provided for the classification of all species of Holcoglossum, Paraholcoglossum, and Tsiorchis.

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<![CDATA[Endophytic Bacteria in Toxic South African Plants: Identification, Phylogeny and Possible Involvement in Gousiekte]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dab1ab0ee8fa60bab50c

Background

South African plant species of the genera Fadogia, Pavetta and Vangueria (all belonging to Rubiaceae) are known to cause gousiekte (literally ‘quick disease’), a fatal cardiotoxicosis of ruminants characterised by acute heart failure four to eight weeks after ingestion. Noteworthy is that all these plants harbour endophytes in their leaves: nodulating bacteria in specialized nodules in Pavetta and non-nodulating bacteria in the intercellular spaces between mesophyll cells in Fadogia and Vangueria.

Principal Findings

Isolation and analyses of these endophytes reveal the presence of Burkholderia bacteria in all the plant species implicated in gousiekte. Although the nodulating and non-nodulating bacteria belong to the same genus, they are phylogenetically not closely related and even fall in different bacterial clades. Pavetta harborii and Pavetta schumanniana have their own specific endophyte – Candidatus Burkholderia harborii and Candidatus Burkholderia schumanniana – while the non-nodulating bacteria found in the other gousiekte-inducing plants show high similarity to Burkholderia caledonica. In this group, the bacteria are host specific at population level. Investigation of gousiekte-inducing plants from other African countries resulted in the discovery of the same endophytes. Several other plants of the genera Afrocanthium, Canthium, Keetia, Psydrax, Pygmaeothamnus and Pyrostria were tested and were found to lack bacterial endophytes.

Conclusions

The discovery and identification of Burkholderia bacteria in gousiekte-inducing plants open new perspectives and opportunities for research not only into the cause of this economically important disease, but also into the evolution and functional significance of bacterial endosymbiosis in Rubiaceae. Other South African Rubiaceae that grow in the same area as the gousiekte-inducing plants were found to lack bacterial endophytes which suggests a link between bacteria and gousiekte. The same bacteria are consistently found in gousiekte-inducing plants from different regions indicating that these plants will also be toxic to ruminants in other African countries.

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