The phylogeny of Japanese Cyperaceae was investigated using chloroplast ndhF sequence data from 37 species in 27 genera. Our results show some congruence with the classification of Goetghebeur (1998). The 5.8S rDNA was analyzed for 37 species in 24 genera. Three base substitutions and 1-bp deletion were observed. A 3-bp indel (CAT) was found in many genera of Cyperaceae. Our results indicate that these mutations of 5.8S rDNA occurred in the ancestor of the family. The monophyly of subfamilies Mapanioideae, Sclerioideae, and Caricoideae is strongly supported. However, the monophyly of subfamily Cyperoideae is not supported because subfamily Caricoideae is nested within it. The monophyly of tribes Cariceae, Abildgaardieae, Eleocharideae, and Cypereae is strongly supported, but Schoeneae, Scirpeae, and Fuireneae are polyphyletic. Two groups were distinguished in the ndhF tree: (1) Dulichieae to Cariceae, and (2) Cypereae to Abildgaardieae.
Scanning electron microscopy and light microscopy were used in a palynological study of eight species of Cyatheaceae in China: Sphaeropteris brunoniana, Alsophila spinulosa, A. latebrosa, A. costularis, A. denticulata, A. gigantea, A. austroyunnanensis and A. khasyana. The first three species of Alsophila are in subgenus Alsophila and the last four are in subgenus Gymnosphaera. The spores of nearly all species of Alsophila examined are characterized by a ridged or modified ridged perine and a granular or verrucate exine, except the spores of A. denticulata and A. austroyunnanensis, which have a smooth exine. Species with a granular or verrucate exine may be advanced in comparison with the species with a smooth exine, implying that the species of Cyatheaceae in China are advanced. The spores of Sphaeropteris brunoniana feature an incipient granular outermost layer and a verrucate exine. Species of Alsophila subgenus Gymnosphaera resemble species of subgenus Alsophila in having a granular or verrucate exine and a ridged perine, supporting the placement of Gymnosphaera within Alsophila rather than recognizing it as a separate genus. Because spores in the species of subgenus Gymnosphaera are more diverse and have a more complicated perine, it is possible that this group is advanced when compared with other species of Alsophila.
A new species, Curcuma antinaia A. Chaveerach & T. Tanee (Zingiberaceae), from villages in Sang Khom District, Nong Khai Province, northeastern Thailand, is described and illustrated. The villagers have traditionally used the plant's rhizomes as an antidote for cobra bites for many generations. Morphologically, C. antinaia is similar to C. longa L., but because of some morphological differences and it's properties as an antidote for cobra bites, we concluded that it is a new species.
Begonia (sect. Sphenanthera) hayamiana Nb. Tanaka (Begoniaceae), a new species from northern Myanmar with fleshy fruits, is described and illustrated. Begonia hayamiana is characterized by a combination of nearly symmetric leaves that are truncate at the base, and 4-locular fruit. It is known only from the type locality in the Hukaung Valley Tiger Reserve, Kachin State.
The phylogenetic relationships of Asarum sect. Asiasarum based on genetic variation in non-coding chloroplast DNA sequences were examined. A total of ca. 960 bp sequences of three non-coding regions, namely trnL (UAA) intron, rps16 intron and psbC-trnS (UGA) intergenic region, were analyzed for 37 accessions from 13 taxa and one geographic race. In the maximum-parsimony (MP) tree, four types were recognized. Among the 13 taxa and one geographic race, 10 taxa were identified as belonging to a single type, while the remaining three taxa and one geographic race, A. patens, A. sieboldii f. sieboldii, A. heterotropoides var. seoulense (from Korea) and A. versicolor, belonged to two types. The types all corresponded to more than one ribotype recognized in previous of nrDNA, ITS sequences. The phylogenetic tree topologies were difficult to compare. Chloroplast polymorphisms within a taxon and incongruence of the phylogenetic tree topologies between chloroplast and ITS were considered to be caused by chloroplast capture following hybridization. Reticulate evolution in sect. Asiasarum was therefore inferred to be more extensive than implied from ITS sequence data. Asarum maruyamae was speculated as being of hybrid origin from crosses between A. sieboldii f. sieboldii and A. mikuniense.
Kalimeris (Asteraceae) is a small eastern Asian genus closely related to Aster. It is distinguished from Aster mainly by its shorter pappus. Although the length of the pappus has been considered to be a good diagnostic character, the distinction has not always been clear and the boundary between them has long been controversial among botanists. Molecular data suggest that the short pappus might have arisen in parallel in different evolutionary lines in Aster. We therefore consider it proper to merge Kalimeris with Aster. Four new combinations are proposed here: Aster incisus Fisch. var. macrodon (Vaniot & H. Lev.) Soejima & Igari, A. indicus L. var. collinus (Hance) Soejima & Igari, A. indicus L. var. stenolepis (Hand.-Mazz.) Soejima & Igari, and A. yomena (Kitam.) Honda var. angustifolius (Nakai) Soejima & Igari.
The chromosome characteristics of Oxygyne shinzatoi, subtribe Oxygyninae, tribe Thismieae, Burmanniaceae, are described and the phylogenetic significance of this species is discussed. The chromosome number of O. shinzatoi is 2n=18, and the basic chromosome number is thought to be x=9. This differs from the x=6 of Thismia, subtribe Thisminae, tribe Thismieae, and the x=6 or 8 of Burmannia, tribe Burmannieae. The sizes of O. shinzatoi and of T. abei chromosomes differ from those of Burmannia. The interphase nucleus of O. shinzatoi is of the complex chromocenter type, in contrast to that of T. abei. This result suggests that there are large differences karyomorphologically between the subtribes Thisminae and Oxygyninae.
We examined the inter-island genetic variation and phylogenetic relationship in Malaxis boninensis and M. hahajimensis, endemic to the Bonin (Ogasawara) Islands, based on sequences of the matK, the trnL intron and trnL-trnF spacer region and the ITS region. The phylogenetic tree indicated that the two Bonin species are closely related to each other. In the two species, two haplotypes (northern and southern types) were recognized from the sequences of chloroplast DNA, but the ITS sequences were identical. The northern type was found in plants of M. boninensis from Chichi-jima ; the southern type was shared between plants of M. boninensis from Kita-Iwo-jima and M. hahajimensis, endemic to Haha-jima. Genetic as well as morphological variation should be considered in conservation measures to protect Malaxis in the Bonin Islands.
The center of diversity of the genus Musa (Musaceae) is in Southeast Asia, a region not studied in detail and where new species and varieties continue to be reported. Recently, a new variety, Musa beccarii var. hottana was described. To improve its characterization, the chromosome number and genome size of varieties hottana and beccarii were analyzed. Variety hottana had a diploid number of 2n=18, the same as var. beccarii. This is an interesting finding, as other species of Musa section Callimusa, in which M. beccarii has traditionally been included, have 2n=20. Nuclear DNA amounts (2C) of var. beccarii and var. hottana were estimated to be 1.562pg and 1.645pg, respectively. These are the largest genome sizes reported so far in Musa. The difference in genome size between the two varieties (〜5%) is highly significant and diagnostic, implying that DNA flow cytometry may be used to discriminate between them and to identify the endangered var. hottana. The analysis of the genome structure of M. beccarii may contribute to an understanding of the processes at the DNA and chromosomal levels that accompanied the evolution in the genus Musa.