Advances in Plant Taxonomy and Systematics

A special issue of Biology (ISSN 2079-7737). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2022) | Viewed by 47006

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Guest Editor
Department of Biology, University of Pisa, Via Derna 1, 56126 Pisa, Italy
Interests: nomenclature, taxonomy, and systematics; vascular plants; Mediterranean flora; integrative taxonomy; evolution; biogeography; cytotaxonomy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Two main problems today threaten the social and scientific recognition of systematics as a basic science crucial for all applications involving the use of organisms, including their conservation. These problems concern a) nomenclature and b) taxonomy. Nomenclature: As a consequence of increasing systematic knowledge, the scientific names of plants often change. While since about 15 years ago family-level circumscriptions (almost) became stable, species are often recombined under different genera or synonymized with others. This is perceived by taxonomy users, either in the scientific community or in wider society, as a relevant and often not understood problem. Collaborative nomenclatural and taxonomic databases are increasingly becoming widespread and authoritative, such that this problem could be easily superseded by increasing the awareness of and accessibility to such databases. Taxonomy: In general, and still today, it is much easier to describe a new species than to definitely prove that it is not worthy of recognition on systematic grounds. This is resulting in worldwide taxonomic inflation, which is also causing inconsistencies in conservation biology. This problem could be superseded only by adopting extreme caution before describing new taxa and, above all, by adopting integrated approaches to taxonomy, taking advantage of karyological, molecular, and ecological data complemented by (quantitative) morphology. Finally, another topic which is becoming more and more important, related to floristics, concerns the free availability of verified and reliable primary biodiversity data. Concerning this latter topic, relevant contributions are coming from massive herbarium digitization and citizen science.

We propose in this Special Issue to highlight the state of the art of current taxonomic and systematic research as well as its fundamental contribution to plant science and biology in general.

Prof. Dr. Lorenzo Peruzzi
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • biodiversity informatics
  • cytotaxonomy
  • databases
  • DNA barcoding
  • herbarium digitization
  • integrative taxonomy
  • morphometrics
  • plant evolution
  • phylogeny and phylogeography
  • plant nomenclature

Published Papers (16 papers)

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Editorial

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3 pages, 224 KiB  
Editorial
Advances in Plant Taxonomy and Systematics
by Lorenzo Peruzzi
Biology 2023, 12(4), 570; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12040570 - 09 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2815
Abstract
Systematics and taxonomy are basic sciences and are crucial for all applications dealing with living organisms [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Plant Taxonomy and Systematics)

Research

Jump to: Editorial

19 pages, 4892 KiB  
Article
Phylogenomics and Biogeography of the Mammilloid Clade Revealed an Intricate Evolutionary History Arose in the Mexican Plateau
by Delil A. Chincoya, Salvador Arias, Felipe Vaca-Paniagua, Patricia Dávila and Sofía Solórzano
Biology 2023, 12(4), 512; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12040512 - 29 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2276
Abstract
Mexico harbors ~45% of world’s cacti species richness. Their biogeography and phylogenomics were integrated to elucidate the evolutionary history of the genera Coryphantha, Escobaria, Mammillaria, Mammilloydia, Neolloydia, Ortegocactus, and Pelecyphora (Mammilloid Clade). We analyzed 52 orthologous loci [...] Read more.
Mexico harbors ~45% of world’s cacti species richness. Their biogeography and phylogenomics were integrated to elucidate the evolutionary history of the genera Coryphantha, Escobaria, Mammillaria, Mammilloydia, Neolloydia, Ortegocactus, and Pelecyphora (Mammilloid Clade). We analyzed 52 orthologous loci from 142 complete genomes of chloroplast (103 taxa) to generate a cladogram and a chronogram; in the latter, the ancestral distribution was reconstructed with the Dispersal-Extinction-Cladogenesis model. The ancestor of these genera arose ~7 Mya on the Mexican Plateau, from which nine evolutionary lineages evolved. This region was the site of 52% of all the biogeographical processes. The lineages 2, 3 and 6 were responsible for the colonization of the arid southern territories. In the last 4 Mya, the Baja California Peninsula has been a region of prolific evolution, particularly for lineages 8 and 9. Dispersal was the most frequent process and vicariance had relevance in the isolation of cacti distributed in the south of Mexico. The 70 taxa sampled as Mammillaria were distributed in six distinct lineages; one of these presumably corresponded to this genus, which likely had its center of origin in the southern part of the Mexican Plateau. We recommend detailed studies to further determine the taxonomic circumscription of the seven genera. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Plant Taxonomy and Systematics)
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36 pages, 5246 KiB  
Article
Geometric Morphometric Versus Genomic Patterns in a Large Polyploid Plant Species Complex
by Ladislav Hodač, Kevin Karbstein, Salvatore Tomasello, Jana Wäldchen, John Paul Bradican and Elvira Hörandl
Biology 2023, 12(3), 418; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12030418 - 09 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2758
Abstract
Plant species complexes represent a particularly interesting example of taxonomically complex groups (TCGs), linking hybridization, apomixis, and polyploidy with complex morphological patterns. In such TCGs, mosaic-like character combinations and conflicts of morphological data with molecular phylogenies present a major problem for species classification. [...] Read more.
Plant species complexes represent a particularly interesting example of taxonomically complex groups (TCGs), linking hybridization, apomixis, and polyploidy with complex morphological patterns. In such TCGs, mosaic-like character combinations and conflicts of morphological data with molecular phylogenies present a major problem for species classification. Here, we used the large polyploid apomictic European Ranunculus auricomus complex to study relationships among five diploid sexual progenitor species and 75 polyploid apomictic derivate taxa, based on geometric morphometrics using 11,690 landmarked objects (basal and stem leaves, receptacles), genomic data (97,312 RAD-Seq loci, 48 phased target enrichment genes, 71 plastid regions) from 220 populations. We showed that (1) observed genomic clusters correspond to morphological groupings based on basal leaves and concatenated traits, and morphological groups were best resolved with RAD-Seq data; (2) described apomictic taxa usually overlap within trait morphospace except for those taxa at the space edges; (3) apomictic phenotypes are highly influenced by parental subgenome composition and to a lesser extent by climatic factors; and (4) allopolyploid apomictic taxa, compared to their sexual progenitor, resemble a mosaic of ecological and morphological intermediate to transgressive biotypes. The joint evaluation of phylogenomic, phenotypic, reproductive, and ecological data supports a revision of purely descriptive, subjective traditional morphological classifications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Plant Taxonomy and Systematics)
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22 pages, 6351 KiB  
Article
Apomictic Mountain Whitebeam (Sorbus austriaca, Rosaceae) Comprises Several Genetically and Morphologically Divergent Lineages
by Alma Hajrudinović-Bogunić, Božo Frajman, Peter Schönswetter, Sonja Siljak-Yakovlev and Faruk Bogunić
Biology 2023, 12(3), 380; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12030380 - 27 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1751
Abstract
The interplay of polyploidisation, hybridization, and apomixis contributed to the exceptional diversity of Sorbus (Rosaceae), giving rise to a mosaic of genetic and morphological entities. The Sorbus austriaca species complex from the mountains of Central and South-eastern Europe represents an allopolyploid apomictic system [...] Read more.
The interplay of polyploidisation, hybridization, and apomixis contributed to the exceptional diversity of Sorbus (Rosaceae), giving rise to a mosaic of genetic and morphological entities. The Sorbus austriaca species complex from the mountains of Central and South-eastern Europe represents an allopolyploid apomictic system of populations that originated following hybridisation between S. aria and S. aucuparia. However, the mode and frequency of such allopolyploidisations and the relationships among different, morphologically more or less similar populations that have often been described as different taxa remain largely unexplored. We used amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) fingerprinting, plastid DNA sequencing, and analyses of nuclear microsatellites, along with multivariate morphometrics and ploidy data, to disentangle the relationships among populations within this intricate complex. Our results revealed a mosaic of genetic lineages—many of which have not been taxonomically recognised—that originated via multiple allopolyploidisations. The clonal structure within and among populations was then maintained via apomixis. Our results thus support previous findings that hybridisation, polyploidization, and apomixis are the main drivers of Sorbus diversification in Europe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Plant Taxonomy and Systematics)
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23 pages, 3974 KiB  
Article
Disentangling Crocus Series Verni and Its Polyploids
by Irena Raca, Frank R. Blattner, Nomar Espinosa Waminal, Helmut Kerndorff, Vladimir Ranđelović and Dörte Harpke
Biology 2023, 12(2), 303; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12020303 - 14 Feb 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2480
Abstract
Spring crocuses, the eleven species within Crocus series Verni (Iridaceae), consist of di- and tetraploid cytotypes. Among them is a group of polyploids from southeastern Europe with yet-unclear taxonomic affiliation. Crocuses are generally characterized by complex dysploid chromosome number changes, preventing a clear [...] Read more.
Spring crocuses, the eleven species within Crocus series Verni (Iridaceae), consist of di- and tetraploid cytotypes. Among them is a group of polyploids from southeastern Europe with yet-unclear taxonomic affiliation. Crocuses are generally characterized by complex dysploid chromosome number changes, preventing a clear correlation between these numbers and ploidy levels. To reconstruct the evolutionary history of series Verni and particularly its polyploid lineages associated with C. heuffelianus, we used an approach combining phylogenetic analyses of two chloroplast regions, 14 nuclear single-copy genes plus rDNA spacers, genome-wide genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) data, and morphometry with ploidy estimations through genome size measurements, analysis of genomic heterozygosity frequencies and co-ancestry, and chromosome number counts. Chromosome numbers varied widely in diploids with 2n = 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, and 28 and tetraploid species or cytotypes with 2n = 16, 18, 20, and 22 chromosomes. Crocus longiflorus, the diploid with the highest chromosome number, possesses the smallest genome (2C = 3.21 pg), while the largest diploid genomes are in a range of 2C = 7–8 pg. Tetraploid genomes have 2C values between 10.88 pg and 12.84 pg. Heterozygosity distribution correlates strongly with genome size classes and allows discernment of di- and tetraploid cytotypes. Our phylogenetic analyses showed that polyploids in the C. heuffelianus group are allotetraploids derived from multiple and partly reciprocal crosses involving different genotypes of diploid C. heuffelianus (2n = 10) and C. vernus (2n = 8). Dysploid karyotype changes after polyploidization resulted in the tetraploid cytotypes with 20 and 22 chromosomes. The multi-data approach we used here for series Verni, combining evidence from nuclear and chloroplast phylogenies, genome sizes, chromosome numbers, and genomic heterozygosity for ploidy estimations, provides a way to disentangle the evolution of plant taxa with complex karyotype changes that can be used for the analysis of other groups within Crocus and beyond. Comparing these results with morphometric analysis results in characters that can discern the different taxa currently subsumed under C. heuffelianus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Plant Taxonomy and Systematics)
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24 pages, 1880 KiB  
Article
Picks in the Fabric of a Polyploidy Complex: Integrative Species Delimitation in the Tetraploid Leucanthemum Mill. (Compositae, Anthemideae) Representatives
by Christoph Oberprieler, Tankred Ott and Robert Vogt
Biology 2023, 12(2), 288; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12020288 - 10 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1879
Abstract
Based on the results of a preceding species-delimitation analysis for the diploid representatives of the genus Leucanthemum (Compositae, Anthemideae), the present study aims at the elaboration of a specific and subspecific taxonomic treatment of the tetraploid members of the genus. Following an integrative [...] Read more.
Based on the results of a preceding species-delimitation analysis for the diploid representatives of the genus Leucanthemum (Compositae, Anthemideae), the present study aims at the elaboration of a specific and subspecific taxonomic treatment of the tetraploid members of the genus. Following an integrative taxonomic approach, species-level decisions on eight predefined morphotaxon hypotheses were based on genetic/genealogical, morphological, ecological, and geographical differentiation patterns. ddRADseq fingerprinting and SNP-based clustering revealed genetic integrity for six of the eight morphotaxa, with no clear differentiation patterns observed between the widespread L. ircutianum subsp. ircutianum and the N Spanish (Cordillera Cantábrica) L. cantabricum and the S French L. delarbrei subsp. delabrei (northern Massif Central) and L. meridionale (western Massif Central). The inclusion of differentiation patterns in morphological (leaf dissection and shape), ecological (climatological and edaphic niches), and geographical respects (pair-wise tests of sympatry vs. allopatry) together with the application of a procedural protocol for species-rank decisions (the ‘Wettstein tesseract’) led to the proposal of an acknowledgement of the eight predefined morphotaxon hypotheses as six species (two of them with two subspecies). Nomenclatural consequences following from these results are drawn and lead to the following new combinations: Leucanthemum delarbrei subsp. meridionale (Legrand) Oberpr., T.Ott & Vogt, comb. nov. and Leucanthemum ruscinonense (Jeanb. & Timb.-Lagr.) Oberpr., T.Ott & Vogt, comb. et stat. nov. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Plant Taxonomy and Systematics)
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22 pages, 11635 KiB  
Article
Cytogenetics, Typification, Molecular Phylogeny and Biogeography of Bentinckia (Arecoideae, Arecaceae), an Unplaced Indian Endemic Palm from Areceae
by Suhas K. Kadam, Rohit N. Mane, Asif S. Tamboli, Sandip K. Gavade, Pradip V. Deshmukh, Manoj M. Lekhak, Yeon-Sik Choo and Jae Hong Pak
Biology 2023, 12(2), 233; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12020233 - 01 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1774
Abstract
Bentinckia is a genus of flowering plants which is an unplaced member of the tribe Areceae (Arecaceae). Two species are recognized in the genus, viz. B. condapanna Berry ex Roxb. from the Western Ghats, India, and B. nicobarica (Kurz) Becc. from the Nicobar [...] Read more.
Bentinckia is a genus of flowering plants which is an unplaced member of the tribe Areceae (Arecaceae). Two species are recognized in the genus, viz. B. condapanna Berry ex Roxb. from the Western Ghats, India, and B. nicobarica (Kurz) Becc. from the Nicobar Islands. This work constitutes taxonomic revision, cytogenetics, molecular phylogeny, and biogeography of the Indian endemic palm genus Bentinckia. The present study discusses the ecology, morphology, taxonomic history, distribution, conservation status, and uses of Bentinckia. A neotype was designated for the name B. condapanna. Cytogenetical studies revealed a new cytotype of B. condapanna representing 2n = 30 chromosomes. Although many phylogenetic reports of the tribe Areceae are available, the relationship within the tribe is still ambiguous. To resolve this, we carried out Bayesian Inference (BI) and Maximum Likelihood (ML) analysis using an appropriate combination of chloroplast and nuclear DNA regions. The same phylogeny was used to study the evolutionary history of Areceae. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that Bentinckia forms a clade with other unplaced members, Clinostigma and Cyrostachys, and together they show a sister relationship with the subtribe Arecinae. Biogeographic analysis shows Bentinckia might have originated in Eurasia and India. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Plant Taxonomy and Systematics)
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16 pages, 3344 KiB  
Article
Systematics of Ditaxinae and Related Lineages within the Subfamily Acalyphoideae (Euphorbiaceae) Based on Molecular Phylogenetics
by Josimar Külkamp, Ricarda Riina, Yocupitzia Ramírez-Amezcua, João R. V. Iganci, Inês Cordeiro, Raquel González-Páramo, Sabina Irene Lara-Cabrera and José Fernando A. Baumgratz
Biology 2023, 12(2), 173; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12020173 - 21 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1990
Abstract
The subtribe Ditaxinae in the plant family Euphorbiaceae is composed of five genera (Argythamnia, Caperonia, Chiropetalum, Ditaxis and Philyra) and approximately 120 species of perennial herbs (rarely annual) to treelets. The subtribe is distributed throughout the Americas, with [...] Read more.
The subtribe Ditaxinae in the plant family Euphorbiaceae is composed of five genera (Argythamnia, Caperonia, Chiropetalum, Ditaxis and Philyra) and approximately 120 species of perennial herbs (rarely annual) to treelets. The subtribe is distributed throughout the Americas, with the exception of Caperonia, which also occurs in tropical Africa and Madagascar. Under the current classification, Ditaxinae includes genera with a questionable morphology-based taxonomy, especially Argythamnia, Chiropetalum and Ditaxis. Moreover, phylogenetic relationships among genera are largely unexplored, with previous works sampling <10% of taxa, showing Ditaxinae as paraphyletic. In this study, we inferred the phylogenetic relationships within Ditaxinae and related taxa using a dataset of nuclear (ETS, ITS) and plastid (petD, trnLF, trnTL) DNA sequences and a wide taxon sampling (60%). We confirmed the paraphyly of Ditaxinae and Ditaxis, both with high support. Following our phylogenetic results, we combined Ditaxis in Argythamnia and upgraded Ditaxinae to the tribe level (Ditaxeae). We also established and described the tribe Caperonieae based on Caperonia, and transferred Philyra to the tribe Adelieae, along with Adelia, Garciadelia, Lasiocroton and Leucocroton. Finally, we discuss the main morphological synapomorphies for the genera and tribes and provide a taxonomic treatment, including all species recognized under each genus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Plant Taxonomy and Systematics)
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57 pages, 10155 KiB  
Article
Small Leaves, Big Diversity: Citizen Science and Taxonomic Revision Triples Species Number in the Carnivorous Drosera microphylla Complex (D. Section Ergaleium, Droseraceae)
by Thilo Krueger, Alastair Robinson, Greg Bourke and Andreas Fleischmann
Biology 2023, 12(1), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12010141 - 16 Jan 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 8153
Abstract
The carnivorous Drosera microphylla complex from southwest Western Australia comprises a group of rare, narrowly endemic species that are potentially threatened by habitat destruction and illegal collection, thus highlighting a need for accurate taxonomic classification to facilitate conservation efforts. Following extensive fieldwork over [...] Read more.
The carnivorous Drosera microphylla complex from southwest Western Australia comprises a group of rare, narrowly endemic species that are potentially threatened by habitat destruction and illegal collection, thus highlighting a need for accurate taxonomic classification to facilitate conservation efforts. Following extensive fieldwork over two decades, detailed studies of both Australian and European herbaria and consideration of both crucial contributions by citizen scientists and social media observations, nine species of the D. microphylla complex are here described and illustrated, including four new species: D. atrata, D. hortiorum, D. koikyennuruff, and D. reflexa. The identities of the previously described infraspecific taxa D. calycina var. minor and D. microphylla var. macropetala are clarified. Both are here lectotypified, reinstated, and elevated to species rank. A replacement name, D. rubricalyx, is provided for the former taxon. Key morphological characters distinguishing the species of this complex include the presence or absence of axillary leaves, lamina shape, petal colour, filament shape, and style length. A detailed identification key, comparison figures, and a distribution map are provided. Six of the nine species are recommended for inclusion on the Priority Flora List under the Conservation Codes for Western Australian Flora and Fauna. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Plant Taxonomy and Systematics)
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14 pages, 3171 KiB  
Article
Dated Phylogeny of Astragalus Section Stereothrix (Fabaceae) and Allied Taxa in the Hypoglottis Clade
by Ali Bagheri, Ali Asghar Maassoumi, Jonathan Brassac and Frank R. Blattner
Biology 2023, 12(1), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12010138 - 16 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1802
Abstract
The Astragalus subgenus Hypoglottis Bunge, which consists of several sections, is one of the taxonomically most complicated groups in the genus. The Astragalus section Stereothrix Bunge belongs to this subgenus and is a significant element of the Irano-Turanian floristic region. A molecular phylogenetic [...] Read more.
The Astragalus subgenus Hypoglottis Bunge, which consists of several sections, is one of the taxonomically most complicated groups in the genus. The Astragalus section Stereothrix Bunge belongs to this subgenus and is a significant element of the Irano-Turanian floristic region. A molecular phylogenetic analysis of this section and its closely related taxa using nuclear ribosomal DNA internal transcribed spacers (ITS) and external transcribed spacer (ETS) regions as well as plastid matK sequences were conducted. Parsimony analyses and Bayesian phylogenetic inference revealed that the section is not monophyletic in its current form, as some taxa belonging to closely related sections such as Hypoglottidei DC. and the Malacothrix Bunge group within the sect. Stereothrix render it paraphyletic. Moreover, species groups belonging to sect. Stereothrix are placed in different clades within the phylogenetic tree of subgenus Hypoglottis, which indicates polyphyly, i.e., multiple independent origins of taxa placed in the sect. Stereothrix. Molecular dating of the group estimated an age of 3.62 (1.73–5.62) My for this assemblage with the major diversification events happening during the last 2 My. Many species groups separated only within the last 0.5 to 1 My. Based on morphological and molecular data, we discuss the phylogenetic relationships of the groups and synonymy of species. In addition, the included taxa of sect. Hypoglottidei are not monophyletic and include species belonging to sects. Hololeuce, Koelziana, Malacothrix, Onobrychoideae, and Ornithodpodium group within the sect. Stereothrix taxa. We conclude that only an analysis including all groups and nearly all species of the sections within the Hypoglottis clade can finally result in an new evolutionary-based system for these taxa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Plant Taxonomy and Systematics)
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52 pages, 16709 KiB  
Article
Morphological Continua Make Poor Species: Genus-Wide Morphometric Survey of the European Bee Orchids (Ophrys L.)
by Richard M. Bateman and Paula J. Rudall
Biology 2023, 12(1), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12010136 - 16 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3882
Abstract
Despite (or perhaps because of) intensive multidisciplinary research, opinions on the optimal number of species recognised within the Eurasian orchid genus Ophrys range from nine to at least 400. The lower figure of nine macrospecies is based primarily on seeking small but reliable [...] Read more.
Despite (or perhaps because of) intensive multidisciplinary research, opinions on the optimal number of species recognised within the Eurasian orchid genus Ophrys range from nine to at least 400. The lower figure of nine macrospecies is based primarily on seeking small but reliable discontinuities in DNA ‘barcode’ regions, an approach subsequently reinforced and finessed via high-throughput sequencing studies. The upper figure of ca. 400 microspecies reflects the morphological authoritarianism of traditional taxonomy combined with belief in extreme pollinator specificity caused by reliance on pollination through pseudo-copulation, enacted by bees and wasps. Groupings of microspecies that are less inclusive than macrospecies are termed mesospecies. Herein, we present multivariate morphometric analyses based on 51 characters scored for 457 individual plants that together span the full morphological and molecular diversity within the genus Ophrys, encompassing 113 named microspecies that collectively represent all 29 mesospecies and all nine macrospecies. We critique our preferred morphometric approach of accumulating heterogeneous data and analysing them primarily using principal coordinates, noting that our conclusions would have been strengthened by even greater sampling and the inclusion of data describing pseudo-pheromone cocktails. Morphological variation within Ophrys proved to be exceptionally multidimensional, lacking strong directional trends. Multivariate clustering of plants according to prior taxonomy was typically weak, irrespective of whether it was assessed at the level of macrospecies, mesospecies or microspecies; considerable morphological overlap was evident even between subsets of the molecularly differentiable macrospecies. Characters supporting genuine taxonomic distinctions were often sufficiently subtle that they were masked by greater and more positively correlated variation that reflected strong contrasts in flower size, tepal colour or, less often, plant size. Individual macrospecies appear to represent morphological continua, within which taxonomic divisions are likely to prove arbitrary if based exclusively on morphological criteria and adequately sampled across their geographic range. It remains unclear how much of the mosaic of subtle character variation among the microspecies reflects genetic versus epigenetic or non-genetic influences and what proportion of any contrasts observed in gene frequencies can be attributed to the adaptive microevolution that is widely considered to dictate speciation in the genus. Moreover, supplementing weak morphological criteria with extrinsic criteria, typically by imposing constraints on geographic location and/or supposed pollinator preference, assumes rather than demonstrates the presence of even the weakest of species boundaries. Overall, it is clear that entities in Ophrys below the level of macrospecies have insufficiently structured variation, either phenotypic or genotypic, to be resolved into discrete, self-circumscribing (“natural”) entities that can legitimately be equated with species as delimited within other less specialised plant genera. Our search for a non-arbitrary (meso)species concept competent to circumscribe an intermediate number of species has so far proven unsuccessful. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Plant Taxonomy and Systematics)
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15 pages, 3557 KiB  
Article
Adonis fucensis (A. sect. Adonanthe, Ranunculaceae), a New Species from the Central Apennines (Italy)
by Fabio Conti, Christoph Oberprieler, Marco Dorfner, Erik Schabel, Roxana Nicoară and Fabrizio Bartolucci
Biology 2023, 12(1), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12010118 - 11 Jan 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2914
Abstract
Adonis fucensis is herein described as a new species based on morphological and molecular analyses. It is endemic to one locality of the Central Apennines between Amplero and Fucino plains within the NATURA 2000 network in the SAC IT7110205 (Central Italy). The only [...] Read more.
Adonis fucensis is herein described as a new species based on morphological and molecular analyses. It is endemic to one locality of the Central Apennines between Amplero and Fucino plains within the NATURA 2000 network in the SAC IT7110205 (Central Italy). The only discovered population is composed of 65 individuals and is at risk of extinction. The conservation status assessment according to IUCN categories and criteria is proposed and discussed. The new species belongs to A. sect. Adonanthe and is morphologically similar to A. volgensis (incl. A. transsilvanica), a species distributed in Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Turkey as well as eastward to SW Siberia and Central Asia. Adonis fucensis can be distinguished from A. volgensis by larger cauline leaves, pentagonal with lobes lanceolate, larger stipules with more lobes and teeth, and larger flowers. Finally, an analytical key to Adonis species belonging to sect. Adonanthe distributed in Europe is presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Plant Taxonomy and Systematics)
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22 pages, 9074 KiB  
Article
Ten Plastomes of Crassula (Crassulaceae) and Phylogenetic Implications
by Hengwu Ding, Shiyun Han, Yuanxin Ye, De Bi, Sijia Zhang, Ran Yi, Jinming Gao, Jianke Yang, Longhua Wu and Xianzhao Kan
Biology 2022, 11(12), 1779; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11121779 - 07 Dec 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1703
Abstract
The genus Crassula is the second-largest genus in the family Crassulaceae, with about 200 species. As an acknowledged super-barcode, plastomes have been extensively utilized for plant evolutionary studies. Here, we first report 10 new plastomes of Crassula. We further focused on the [...] Read more.
The genus Crassula is the second-largest genus in the family Crassulaceae, with about 200 species. As an acknowledged super-barcode, plastomes have been extensively utilized for plant evolutionary studies. Here, we first report 10 new plastomes of Crassula. We further focused on the structural characterizations, codon usage, aversion patterns, and evolutionary rates of plastomes. The IR junction patterns—IRb had 110 bp expansion to rps19—were conservative among Crassula species. Interestingly, we found the codon usage patterns of matK gene in Crassula species are unique among Crassulaceae species with elevated ENC values. Furthermore, subgenus Crassula species have specific GC-biases in the matK gene. In addition, the codon aversion motifs from matK, pafI, and rpl22 contained phylogenetic implications within Crassula. The evolutionary rates analyses indicated all plastid genes of Crassulaceae were under the purifying selection. Among plastid genes, ycf1 and ycf2 were the most rapidly evolving genes, whereas psaC was the most conserved gene. Additionally, our phylogenetic analyses strongly supported that Crassula is sister to all other Crassulaceae species. Our findings will be useful for further evolutionary studies within the Crassula and Crassulaceae. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Plant Taxonomy and Systematics)
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11 pages, 3647 KiB  
Article
Comparative Chloroplast Genomes of Six Magnoliaceae Species Provide New Insights into Intergeneric Relationships and Phylogeny
by Lin Yang, Jinhong Tian, Liu Xu, Xueli Zhao, Yuyang Song and Dawei Wang
Biology 2022, 11(9), 1279; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11091279 - 28 Aug 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1830
Abstract
Magnoliaceae plants are industrial tree species with high ornamental and medicinal value. We published six complete chloroplast genomes of Magnoliaceae by using Illumina sequencing. These showed a typical quadripartite structure of angiosperm and were 159,901–160,008 bp in size. A total of 324 microsatellite [...] Read more.
Magnoliaceae plants are industrial tree species with high ornamental and medicinal value. We published six complete chloroplast genomes of Magnoliaceae by using Illumina sequencing. These showed a typical quadripartite structure of angiosperm and were 159,901–160,008 bp in size. A total of 324 microsatellite loci and six variable intergenic regions (Pi > 0.01) were identified in six genomes. Compared with five other genomes, the contraction and expansion of the IR regions were significantly different in Manglietia grandis. To gain a more thorough understanding of the intergeneric relationships in Magnoliaceae, we also included 31 published chloroplast genomes of close relative species for phylogenetic analyses. New insights into the intergeneric relationships of Magnoliaceae are provided based on our results and previous morphological, phytochemical and anatomical information. We suggest that the genus Yulania should be separated from the genus Michelia and its systematic position of should be restored; the genera Paramichelia and Tsoongiodendron should be merged into the genus Michelia; the genera Pachylarnax and Parakmeria should be combined into one genus. These findings will provide a theoretical basis for adjusting the phylogenetic position of Magnoliaceae at the molecular level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Plant Taxonomy and Systematics)
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21 pages, 1801 KiB  
Article
Integrative Taxonomy of Armeria arenaria (Plumbaginaceae), with a Special Focus on the Putative Subspecies Endemic to the Apennines
by Manuel Tiburtini, Giovanni Astuti, Fabrizio Bartolucci, Gabriele Casazza, Lucia Varaldo, Daniele De Luca, Maria Vittoria Bottigliero, Gianluigi Bacchetta, Marco Porceddu, Gianniantonio Domina, Simone Orsenigo and Lorenzo Peruzzi
Biology 2022, 11(7), 1060; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11071060 - 14 Jul 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2657
Abstract
Three subspecies of Armeria arenaria are reported from Italy, two of which are considered endemic to the Apennines. The taxonomic value of these two taxa (A. arenaria subsp. marginata and A. arenaria subsp. apennina) is unclear. Moreover, the relationships between A. [...] Read more.
Three subspecies of Armeria arenaria are reported from Italy, two of which are considered endemic to the Apennines. The taxonomic value of these two taxa (A. arenaria subsp. marginata and A. arenaria subsp. apennina) is unclear. Moreover, the relationships between A. arenaria subsp. praecox and Northern Italian populations—currently ascribed to A. arenaria subsp. arenaria—have never been addressed. Accordingly, we used an integrated taxonomic approach, including morphometry, seed morpho–colorimetry, karyology, molecular systematics (psbA–trnH, trnQ–rps16, trnF–trnL, trnL–rpl32, and ITS region), and comparative niche analysis. According to our results, French–Northern Italian populations are clearly distinct from Apennine populations. In the first group, there is evidence which allows the recognition of A. arenaria s.str. (not occurring in Italy) and A. arenaria subsp. praecox. In the second group, the two putative taxa endemic to the Northern Apennines cannot be separated, so a single subspecies is here recognized: A. arenaria subsp. marginata. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Plant Taxonomy and Systematics)
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27 pages, 6586 KiB  
Article
Phylogeny and Historical Biogeography of Veronica Subgenus Pentasepalae (Plantaginaceae): Evidence for Its Origin and Subsequent Dispersal
by Moslem Doostmohammadi, Firouzeh Bordbar, Dirk C. Albach and Mansour Mirtadzadini
Biology 2022, 11(5), 639; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11050639 - 21 Apr 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2630
Abstract
Veronica subgenus Pentasepalae is the largest subgenus of Veronica in the Northern Hemisphere with approximately 80 species mainly from Southwest Asia. In order to reconstruct the phylogenetic relationships among the members of V. subgenus Pentasepalae and to test the “out of the [...] Read more.
Veronica subgenus Pentasepalae is the largest subgenus of Veronica in the Northern Hemisphere with approximately 80 species mainly from Southwest Asia. In order to reconstruct the phylogenetic relationships among the members of V. subgenus Pentasepalae and to test the “out of the Iranian plateau” hypothesis, we applied thorough taxonomic sampling, employing nuclear DNA (ITS) sequence data complimented with morphological studies and chromosome number counts. Several high or moderately supported clades are reconstructed, but the backbone of the phylogenetic tree is generally unresolved, and many Southwest Asian species are scattered along a large polytomy. It is proposed that rapid diversification of the Irano-Turanian species in allopatric glacial refugia and a relatively high rate of extinction during interglacial periods resulted in such phylogenetic topology. The highly variable Asian V. orientalisV. multifida complex formed a highly polyphyletic assemblage, emphasizing the idea of cryptic speciation within this group. The phylogenetic results allow the re-assignment of two species into this subgenus. In addition, V. bombycina subsp. bolkardaghensis, V. macrostachya subsp. schizostegia and V. fuhsii var. linearis are raised to species rank and the new name V. parsana is proposed for the latter. Molecular dating and ancestral area reconstructions indicate a divergence age of about 9 million years ago and a place of origin on the Iranian Plateau. Migration to the Western Mediterranean region has likely taken place through a North African route during early quaternary glacial times. This study supports the assumption of the Irano-Turanian region as a source of taxa for neighboring regions, particularly in the alpine flora. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Plant Taxonomy and Systematics)
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