Chin Bull Bot ›› 2018, Vol. 53 ›› Issue (6): 782-792.doi: 10.11983/CBB17258

• EXPERIMENTAL COMMUNICATIONS • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Phylogeny and Systematics of the Genus Microlepia (Dennstaedtiaceae) based on Palynology and Molecular Evidence

Luo Junjie1,2, Wang Ying1,2, Shang Hui1,3, Zhou Xile4, Wei Hongjin1,3, Huang Sunan2, Gu Yufeng1,2, Jin Dongmei1,3, Dai Xiling2, Yan Yuehong1,3,*()   

  1. 1Shanghai Chenshan Plant Science Research Center, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden, Shanghai 201602, China
    2College of Life and Environmental Sciences, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai 200234, China
    3Eastern China Conservation Center for Wild Endangered Plant Resources, State Forestry Administration, Shanghai 201602, China
    4Xiangxi Autonomous Prefecture Forest Resources Monitoring Center, Jishou 416000, China
  • Received:2017-12-29 Online:2018-12-05 Published:2018-11-01
  • Contact: Yan Yuehong


Palynology is an important method to solve the micro-morphological differentiation of species in some complex groups. With the development of molecular phylogeny, combining the advantages of these two subjects may effectively solve the taxonomic issues in plants. Microlepia (Dennstaedtiaceae) is one of the most difficult genera in ferns in terms of taxonomy. In the present study, based on palynology matched with phylogeny and population sampling, we constructed the phylogeny of 280 samples by using both Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian methods with four plastid markers (rbcL, trnL-F, psbA-trnH and rps4). The spore morphology of 100 samples was observed and analyzed. Our results of comprehensive molecular phylogeny and palynology showed that (1) 15 species widely accepted based on plant morphology were strongly supported, and this complex group of Microlepia has been further clarified; (2) There may be crytic species in the populations of M. marginata; (3) M. yaoshanica Ching, M. lofoushanensis Ching, M. szechuanica Ching and M. subspeluncae Ching, treated as synonyms in previous studies, should be restored as independent species; (4) Many hybridization events of Microlepia were found; and (5) A complete infrageneric taxonomy of Microlepia was proposed.

Key words: crytic species, hybrids, palynology, phylogeny and systematics, pteridophytes, taxonomy

Figure 1

Bayesian inference phylogeny of Microlepia derived from the combined data (rbcL, trnL-F, psbA-trnH and rps4) Values beside each branch represent bootstrap support for parsimony, Bayesian posterior probabilities and maximum likelihood (≥50%); * means 1 or 100; - means <0.5 or 50%."

Figure 2

Distribution of spore size corresponded to phylogeny differentiation of Microlepia"

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