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1.  Characterization of a New Burrowing Nematode Population, Radopholus citrophilus, from Hawaii 
Journal of Nematology  1986;18(1):50-53.
Karyotype, host preference, isozyzme patterns, morphometrics, and mating behavior of two burrowing nematode populations from Hawaii, one infecting Anthurium sp. and the second infecting Musa sp., were compared with Radopholus similis and R. citrophilus populations from Florida. The population from Anthurium sp. had five chromosomes (n = 5), and that from Musa sp. had four (n = 4). Neither of the Hawaiian nematode populations persisted in roots of Citrus limon or C. aurantium. Anthurium clarinerivum and A. hookeri were hosts of the burrowing nematode population from anthurium in Hawaii and of R. citrophilus from Florida, whereas the two anthurium species were poor hosts of the population from Musa sp. in Hawaii and R. similis from Florida. The isozyme pattern of the population isolated from anthurium was identical to that of R. citrophigus, whereas the pattern of the population from banana in Hawaii was identical to that of R. similis. Mating behavior between the burrowing nematode population isolated from Anthurium sp. and a Florida population of R. citrophilus supports their close taxonomic relationship. Mating was observed between the population from Anthurium sp. and the Florida population of R. citrophilus but not between the Hawaiian burrowing nematode population isolated from Musa sp. and a Florida population of R. citrophilus. These findings indicate that a previously unidentified population of R. citrophilus which does not parasitize citrus occurs in Hawaii.
PMCID: PMC2618493  PMID: 19294139
anthurium; banana; biotype; citrus; ornamental; race; Radopholus similis; Radopholus citrophilus
2.  Karyotype analysis and visualization of 45S rRNA genes using fluorescence in situ hybridization in aroids (Araceae) 
Comparative Cytogenetics  2015;9(2):145-160.
Karyotype analysis and FISH mapping using 45S rDNA sequences on 6 economically important plant species Anthurium andraeanum Linden ex André, 1877, Monstera deliciosa Liebmann, 1849, Philodendron scandens Koch & Sello, 1853, Spathiphyllum wallisii Regel, 1877, Syngonium auritum (Linnaeus, 1759) Schott, 1829 and Zantedeschia elliottiana (Knight, 1890) Engler, 1915 within the monocotyledonous family Araceae (aroids) were performed. Chromosome numbers varied between 2n=2x=24 and 2n=2x=60 and the chromosome length varied between 15.77 µm and 1.87 µm. No correlation between chromosome numbers and genome sizes was observed for the studied genera. The chromosome formulas contained only metacentric and submetacentric chromosomes, except for Philodendron scandens in which also telocentric and subtelocentric chromosomes were observed. The highest degree of compaction was calculated for Spathiphyllum wallisii (66.49Mbp/µm). B-chromosome-like structures were observed in Anthurium andraeanum. Their measured size was 1.87 times smaller than the length of the shortest chromosome. After FISH experiments, two 45S rDNA sites were observed in 5 genera. Only in Zantedeschia elliottiana, 4 sites were seen. Our results showed clear cytogenetic differences among genera within Araceae, and are the first molecular cytogenetics report for these genera. These chromosome data and molecular cytogenetic information are useful in aroid breeding programmes, systematics and evolutionary studies.
PMCID: PMC4488963  PMID: 26140158
Araceae; B-chromosomes; chromosome formula; cytogenetics; genome size; FISH
3.  Relationship between Symptom Development and Actual Sites of Infection in Leaves of Anthurium Inoculated with a Bioluminescent Strain of Xanthomonas campestris pv. dieffenbachiae 
The infection process of bacterial blight of anthurium was monitored with a bioluminescent strain of Xanthomonas campestris pv. dieffenbachiae. The relationship between symptom expression on infected leaves (assessed visually) and the extent of bacterial movement within tissues (evaluated by bioluminescence emission) varied among anthurium cultivars. In several cultivars previously considered susceptible on the basis of symptom development alone, bacterial invasion of leaves extended far beyond the visually affected areas. In other cultivars previously considered resistant, bacterial invasion was restricted to areas with visible symptoms. In three cultivars previously considered resistant, leaves were extensively invaded by the bacterium, and yet few or no symptoms were seen on infected leaves. The pathogen was consistently recovered from leaf sections emitting bioluminescence but not from sections emitting no light. At an early stage of infection, no significant differences in the percentages of infected areas as determined by visual assessment were observed in any of the cultivars. However, differences among cultivars were detected by bioluminescence as the disease progressed, because bacterial invasion was not always accompanied by symptom expression. In susceptible cultivars, the advancing border of infection was 5 to 10 cm inward from the margins of the visible symptoms and often reached to the leaf petiole even when symptoms were visible in <10% of the total leaf area. Comparisons of anthurium cultivars in which a nondestructive method was used to quantify the severity of leaf infection by a bioluminescent pathogen have enabled us to evaluate susceptibility and resistance to bacterial blight accurately. Such evaluations will be of importance in breeding resistant cultivars for disease control.
PMCID: PMC1388810  PMID: 16535253
4.  Suppression of Bacterial Blight by a Bacterial Community Isolated from the Guttation Fluids of Anthuriums† 
Growth and survival of Xanthomonas campestris pv. dieffenbachiae in guttation fluids (xylem sap exuded from leaf margins) of anthuriums were suppressed by several bacterial strains indigenous to leaves of various anthurium cultivars. Inhibition of growth was not observed in filter-sterilized guttation fluids and was restored to original levels only by reintroducing specific mixtures of bacteria into filter-sterilized guttation fluids. The inhibitory effect was related to the species in the bacterial community rather than to the total numbers of bacteria in the guttation fluids. One very effective bacterial community consisted of five species isolated from inhibitory guttation fluids of two susceptible anthurium cultivars. The individual strains in this community had no effect on the pathogen, but the mixture was inhibitory to X. campestris pv. dieffenbachiae in guttation fluids. The populations of the individual strains remained near the initial inoculum levels for at least 14 days. The effect of the five inhibitory strains on reducing disease in susceptible anthurium plants was tested by using a bioluminescent strain of X. campestris pv. dieffenbachiae to monitor the progression of disease in leaves nondestructively. Invasion of the pathogen through hydathodes at leaf margins was reduced by applying the strain mixture to the leaves. When the strain mixture was applied directly to wounds created on the leaf margins, the pathogen failed to invade through the wounds. This bacterial community has potential for biological control of anthurium blight.
PMCID: PMC91139  PMID: 10049858
5.  A reassessment of Anthurium species with palmately divided leaves, and a reinterpretation of Anthurium section Dactylophyllium (Araceae) 
PhytoKeys  2013;41-54.
A reappraisal is made of the Anthurium Schott species with palmately divided leaves with 3 or more segments free to the base (i.e. palmatisect leaves), previously recognized as section Dactylophyllium Schott (Engler), as well as those species with 5 or more segments united at the base (i.e. palmatifid leaves), formerly placed in section Schizoplacium Schott (Engler). New molecular data indicates that several species (Anthurium pedatum (Kunth) Schott, Anthurium pedatoradiatum Schott, and possibly, Anthurium podophyllum (Schltdl. & Cham.) Kunth) should be excluded from section Schizoplacium, and other species previously placed in that section cannot be separated from section Dactylophyllium. Thus, Anthurium section Schizoplacium is here synonymized within section Dactylophyllium and type species are designated for both groups. This paper also provides an updated description of section Dactylophyllium as here emended, listing the 24 accepted taxa now included (20 species and 4 varieties or subspecies), along with their geographic distributions.
PMCID: PMC3690980  PMID: 23805054
Anthurium; molecular phylogeny; palmately divided leaves; palmatisect leaves; palmatifid leaves; section Schizoplacium; sectional classification
6.  De novo characterization of the Anthurium transcriptome and analysis of its digital gene expression under cold stress 
BMC Genomics  2013;14(1):827.
Anthurium andraeanum is one of the most popular tropical flowers. In temperate and cold zones, a much greater risk of cold stress occurs in the supply of Anthurium plants. Unlike the freeze-tolerant model plants, Anthurium plants are particularly sensitive to low temperatures. Improvement of chilling tolerance in Anthurium may significantly increase its production and extend its shelf-life. To date, no previous genomic information has been reported in Anthurium plants.
Using Illumina sequencing technology, we generated over two billion base of high-quality sequence in Anthurium, and demonstrated de novo assembly and annotation of genes without prior genome information. These reads were assembled into 44,382 unigenes (mean length = 560 bp). Based on similarity search with known protein in the non-redundant (nr) protein database, 27396 unigenes (62%) were functionally annotated with a cut-off E-value of 10-5. Further, DGE tags were mapped to the assembled transcriptome for gene expression analysis under cold stress. In total, 4363 differentially expressed genes were identified. Among these genes, 292, 805 and 708 genes were up-regulated after 1-h, 5-h and 24-h cold treatment, respectively. Then we mapped these cold-induced genes to the KEGG database. Specific enrichment was observed in photosynthesis pathway, metabolic pathways and oxidative phosphorylation pathway in 1-h cold-treated plants. After a 5-h cold treatment, the metabolic pathways and oxidative phosphorylation pathway were significantly identified as the top two pathways. After 24-h cold treatment, mRNA surveillance pathway, RNA transport pathway and plant-pathogen interaction pathway were significantly enriched. Together, a total of 39 cold-inducible transcription factors were identified, including subsets of AP2/ERF, Zinc figure, NAC, MYB and bZIP family members.
Our study is the first to provide the transcriptome sequence resource for Anthurium plants, and demonstrate its digital gene expression profiling under cold conditions using the assembled transcriptome data for reference. These data provides a valuable resource for genetic and genomic studies under abiotic conditions for Anthurium plants.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2164-14-827) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4046746  PMID: 24267953
Anthurium; Cold; Transcriptome; Digital gene expression
7.  Evolution of genome size and chromosome number in the carnivorous plant genus Genlisea (Lentibulariaceae), with a new estimate of the minimum genome size in angiosperms 
Annals of Botany  2014;114(8):1651-1663.
Background and Aims
Some species of Genlisea possess ultrasmall nuclear genomes, the smallest known among angiosperms, and some have been found to have chromosomes of diminutive size, which may explain why chromosome numbers and karyotypes are not known for the majority of species of the genus. However, other members of the genus do not possess ultrasmall genomes, nor do most taxa studied in related genera of the family or order. This study therefore examined the evolution of genome sizes and chromosome numbers in Genlisea in a phylogenetic context. The correlations of genome size with chromosome number and size, with the phylogeny of the group and with growth forms and habitats were also examined.
Nuclear genome sizes were measured from cultivated plant material for a comprehensive sampling of taxa, including nearly half of all species of Genlisea and representing all major lineages. Flow cytometric measurements were conducted in parallel in two laboratories in order to compare the consistency of different methods and controls. Chromosome counts were performed for the majority of taxa, comparing different staining techniques for the ultrasmall chromosomes.
Key Results
Genome sizes of 15 taxa of Genlisea are presented and interpreted in a phylogenetic context. A high degree of congruence was found between genome size distribution and the major phylogenetic lineages. Ultrasmall genomes with 1C values of <100 Mbp were almost exclusively found in a derived lineage of South American species. The ancestral haploid chromosome number was inferred to be n = 8. Chromosome numbers in Genlisea ranged from 2n = 2x = 16 to 2n = 4x = 32. Ascendant dysploid series (2n = 36, 38) are documented for three derived taxa. The different ploidy levels corresponded to the two subgenera, but were not directly correlated to differences in genome size; the three different karyotype ranges mirrored the different sections of the genus. The smallest known plant genomes were not found in G. margaretae, as previously reported, but in G. tuberosa (1C ≈ 61 Mbp) and some strains of G. aurea (1C ≈ 64 Mbp).
Genlisea is an ideal candidate model organism for the understanding of genome reduction as the genus includes species with both relatively large (∼1700 Mbp) and ultrasmall (∼61 Mbp) genomes. This comparative, phylogeny-based analysis of genome sizes and karyotypes in Genlisea provides essential data for selection of suitable species for comparative whole-genome analyses, as well as for further studies on both the molecular and cytogenetic basis of genome reduction in plants.
PMCID: PMC4649684  PMID: 25274549
Bladderwort; carnivorous plant; chromosome number; flow cytometry; Genlisea; genome miniaturization; genome size; Lentibulariaceae; Lamiales
8.  Phylogenomics of the genus Mus (Rodentia; Muridae): extensive genome repatterning is not restricted to the house mouse 
The house mouse (Mus musculus) is universally adopted as the mammalian laboratory model, and it is involved in most studies of large-scale comparative genomics. Paradoxically, this taxon is rarely the index species for evolutionary analyses of genome architecture owing to its highly rearranged karyotype. To unravel the origin and nature of this extensive repatterning genome, we performed a multidirectional chromosome painting study of representative species within the genus Mus. However, the latter includes four extant subgenera (Mus, Coelomys, Nannomys and Pyromys) between which the phylogenetic relationships remain elusive despite the numerous molecular studies. Comparative genomic maps were established using chromosome-specific painting probes of the laboratory mouse and Nannomys minutoides. Hence, by integrating closely related species within Mus, this study allowed us to: (i) unambiguously resolve for the first time the long-standing controversial phylogeny, (ii) trace the evolution of genome organization in the house mouse, (iii) track rearrangements that necessitated new centromere locations, i.e. formation of neocentromere or reactivation of latent centromeres, (iv) reveal an extremely high rate of karyotypic evolution, with a 10- to 30-fold acceleration which was coincidental with subgeneric cladogenesis and (v) highlight genomic areas of interest for high-resolution studies on neocentromere formation and synteny breakpoints.
PMCID: PMC1639516  PMID: 17015352
fluorescence in situ hybridization; phylogenomics; Mus; Nannomys; Coelomys; neocentromere
9.  Ralstonia solanacearum Strains from Martinique (French West Indies) Exhibiting a New Pathogenic Potential▿ †  
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2007;73(21):6790-6801.
We investigated a destructive pathogenic variant of the plant pathogen Ralstonia solanacearum that was consistently isolated in Martinique (French West Indies). Since the 1960s, bacterial wilt of solanaceous crops in Martinique has been caused primarily by strains of R. solanacearum that belong to either phylotype I or phylotype II. Since 1999, anthurium shade houses have been dramatically affected by uncharacterized phylotype II strains that also affected a wide range of species, such as Heliconia caribea, cucurbitaceous crops, and weeds. From 1989 to 2003, a total of 224 R. solanacearum isolates were collected and compared to 6 strains isolated in Martinique in the 1980s. The genetic diversity and phylogenetic position of selected strains from Martinique were assessed (multiplex PCRs, mutS and egl DNA sequence analysis) and compared to the genetic diversity and phylogenetic position of 32 reference strains covering the known diversity within the R. solanacearum species complex. Twenty-four representative isolates were tested for pathogenicity to Musa species (banana) and tomato, eggplant, and sweet pepper. Based upon both PCR and sequence analysis, 119 Martinique isolates from anthurium, members of the family Cucurbitaceae, Heliconia, and tomato, were determined to belong to a group termed phylotype II/sequevar 4 (II/4). While these strains cluster with the Moko disease-causing strains, they were not pathogenic to banana (NPB). The strains belonging to phylotype II/4NPB were highly pathogenic to tomato, eggplant, and pepper, were able to wilt the resistant tomato variety Hawaii7996, and may latently infect cooking banana. Phylotype II/4NPB constitutes a new pathogenic variant of R. solanacearum that has recently appeared in Martinique and may be latently prevalent throughout Caribbean and Central/South America.
PMCID: PMC2074947  PMID: 17720825
10.  Evolution of genome size in Carex (Cyperaceae) in relation to chromosome number and genomic base composition 
Annals of Botany  2012;111(1):79-94.
Background and Aims
The genus Carex exhibits karyological peculiarities related to holocentrism, specifically extremely broad and almost continual variation in chromosome number. However, the effect of these peculiarities on the evolution of the genome (genome size, base composition) remains unknown. While in monocentrics, determining the arithmetic relationship between the chromosome numbers of related species is usually sufficient for the detection of particular modes of karyotype evolution (i.e. polyploidy and dysploidy), in holocentrics where chromosomal fission and fusion occur such detection requires knowledge of the DNA content.
The genome size and GC content were estimated in 157 taxa using flow cytometry. The exact chromosome numbers were known for 96 measured samples and were taken from the available literature for other taxa. All relationships were tested in a phylogenetic framework using the ITS tree of 105 species.
Key Results
The 1C genome size varied between 0·24 and 1·64 pg in Carex secalina and C. cuspidata, respectively. The genomic GC content varied from 34·8 % to 40·6 % from C. secalina to C. firma. Both genomic parameters were positively correlated. Seven polyploid and two potentially polyploid taxa were detected in the core Carex clade. A strong negative correlation between genome size and chromosome number was documented in non-polyploid taxa. Non-polyploid taxa of the core Carex clade exhibited a higher rate of genome-size evolution compared with the Vignea clade. Three dioecious taxa exhibited larger genomes, larger chromosomes, and a higher GC content than their hermaphrodite relatives.
Genomes of Carex are relatively small and very GC-poor compared with other angiosperms. We conclude that the evolution of genome and karyotype in Carex is promoted by frequent chromosomal fissions/fusions, rare polyploidy and common repetitive DNA proliferation/removal.
PMCID: PMC3523652  PMID: 23175591
Agmatoploidy; AT/GC ratio; chromosomal fusion and fission; chromosome numbers; DNA content; flow cytometry; GC content; karyotype; phylogeny; polyploidy; symploidy
11.  Correlated evolution of LTR retrotransposons and genome size in the genus eleocharis 
BMC Plant Biology  2010;10:265.
Transposable elements (TEs) are considered to be an important source of genome size variation and genetic and phenotypic plasticity in eukaryotes. Most of our knowledge about TEs comes from large genomic projects and studies focused on model organisms. However, TE dynamics among related taxa from natural populations and the role of TEs at the species or supra-species level, where genome size and karyotype evolution are modulated in concert with polyploidy and chromosomal rearrangements, remain poorly understood. We focused on the holokinetic genus Eleocharis (Cyperaceae), which displays large variation in genome size and the occurrence of polyploidy and agmatoploidy/symploidy. We analyzed and quantified the long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons Ty1-copia and Ty3-gypsy in relation to changes in both genome size and karyotype in Eleocharis. We also examined how this relationship is reflected in the phylogeny of Eleocharis.
Using flow cytometry, we measured the genome sizes of members of the genus Eleocharis (Cyperaceae). We found positive correlation between the independent phylogenetic contrasts of genome size and chromosome number in Eleocharis. We analyzed PCR-amplified sequences of various reverse transcriptases of the LTR retrotransposons Ty1-copia and Ty3-gypsy (762 sequences in total). Using real-time PCR and dot blot approaches, we quantified the densities of Ty1-copia and Ty3-gypsy within the genomes of the analyzed species. We detected an increasing density of Ty1-copia elements in evolutionarily younger Eleocharis species and found a positive correlation between Ty1-copia densities and C/n-values (an alternative measure of monoploid genome size) in the genus phylogeny. In addition, our analysis of Ty1-copia sequences identified a novel retrotransposon family named Helos1, which is responsible for the increasing density of Ty1-copia. The transition:transversion ratio of Helos1 sequences suggests that Helos1 recently transposed in later-diverging Eleocharis species.
Using several different approaches, we were able to distinguish between the roles of LTR retrotransposons, polyploidy and agmatoploidy/symploidy in shaping Eleocharis genomes and karyotypes. Our results confirm the occurrence of both polyploidy and agmatoploidy/symploidy in Eleocharis. Additionally, we introduce a new player in the process of genome evolution in holokinetic plants: LTR retrotransposons.
PMCID: PMC3095338  PMID: 21118487
12.  Phylogenetic Relationships of Palaearctic Formica Species (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) Based on Mitochondrial Cytochrome b Sequences 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(7):e41697.
Ants of genus Formica demonstrate variation in social organization and represent model species for ecological, behavioral, evolutionary studies and testing theoretical implications of the kin selection theory. Subgeneric division of the Formica ants based on morphology has been questioned and remained unclear after an allozyme study on genetic differentiation between 13 species representing all subgenera was conducted. In the present study, the phylogenetic relationships within the genus were examined using mitochondrial DNA sequences of the cytochrome b and a part of the NADH dehydrogenase subunit 6. All 23 Formica species sampled in the Palaearctic clustered according to the subgeneric affiliation except F. uralensis that formed a separate phylogenetic group. Unlike Coptoformica and Formica s. str., the subgenus Serviformica did not form a tight cluster but more likely consisted of a few small clades. The genetic distances between the subgenera were around 10%, implying approximate divergence time of 5 Myr if we used the conventional insect divergence rate of 2% per Myr. Within-subgenus divergence estimates were 6.69% in Serviformica, 3.61% in Coptoformica, 1.18% in Formica s. str., which supported our previous results on relatively rapid speciation in the latter subgenus. The phylogeny inferred from DNA sequences provides a necessary framework against which the evolution of social traits can be compared. We discuss implications of inferred phylogeny for the evolution of social traits.
PMCID: PMC3402446  PMID: 22911845
13.  Divergent Chemical Cues Elicit Seed Collecting by Ants in an Obligate Multi-Species Mutualism in Lowland Amazonia 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(12):e15822.
In lowland Amazonian rainforests, specific ants collect seeds of several plant species and cultivate them in arboreal carton nests, forming species-specific symbioses called ant-gardens (AGs). In this obligate mutualism, ants depend on the plants for nest stability and the plants depend on ant nests for substrate and nutrients. AG ants and plants are abundant, dominant members of lowland Amazonian ecosystems, but the cues ants use to recognize the seeds are poorly understood. To address the chemical basis of the ant-seed interaction, we surveyed seed chemistry in nine AG species and eight non-AG congeners. We detected seven phenolic and terpenoid volatiles common to seeds of all or most of the AG species, but a blend of the shared compounds was not attractive to the AG ant Camponotus femoratus. We also analyzed seeds of three AG species (Anthurium gracile, Codonanthe uleana, and Peperomia macrostachya) using behavior-guided fractionation. At least one chromatographic fraction of each seed extract elicited retrieval behavior in C. femoratus, but the active fractions of the three plant species differed in polarity and chemical composition, indicating that shared compounds alone did not explain seed-carrying behavior. We suggest that the various AG seed species must elicit seed-carrying with different chemical cues.
PMCID: PMC3012710  PMID: 21209898
14.  Do Stacked Species Distribution Models Reflect Altitudinal Diversity Patterns? 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(3):e32586.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the performance of stacked species distribution models in predicting the alpha and gamma species diversity patterns of two important plant clades along elevation in the Andes. We modelled the distribution of the species in the Anthurium genus (53 species) and the Bromeliaceae family (89 species) using six modelling techniques. We combined all of the predictions for the same species in ensemble models based on two different criteria: the average of the rescaled predictions by all techniques and the average of the best techniques. The rescaled predictions were then reclassified into binary predictions (presence/absence). By stacking either the original predictions or binary predictions for both ensemble procedures, we obtained four different species richness models per taxa. The gamma and alpha diversity per elevation band (500 m) was also computed. To evaluate the prediction abilities for the four predictions of species richness and gamma diversity, the models were compared with the real data along an elevation gradient that was independently compiled by specialists. Finally, we also tested whether our richness models performed better than a null model of altitudinal changes of diversity based on the literature. Stacking of the ensemble prediction of the individual species models generated richness models that proved to be well correlated with the observed alpha diversity richness patterns along elevation and with the gamma diversity derived from the literature. Overall, these models tend to overpredict species richness. The use of the ensemble predictions from the species models built with different techniques seems very promising for modelling of species assemblages. Stacking of the binary models reduced the over-prediction, although more research is needed. The randomisation test proved to be a promising method for testing the performance of the stacked models, but other implementations may still be developed.
PMCID: PMC3292561  PMID: 22396782
15.  Bacterial Communities Associated with Different Anthurium andraeanum L. Plant Tissues 
Microbes and Environments  2016;31(3):321-328.
Plant-associated microbes have specific beneficial functions and are considered key drivers for plant health. The bacterial community structure of healthy Anthurium andraeanum L. plants was studied by 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing associated with different plant parts and the rhizosphere. A limited number of bacterial taxa, i.e., Sinorhizobium, Fimbriimonadales, and Gammaproteobacteria HTCC2089 were enriched in the A. andraeanum rhizosphere. Endophytes were more diverse in the roots than in the shoots, whereas all shoot endophytes were found in the roots. Streptomyces, Flavobacterium succinicans, and Asteroleplasma were only found in the roots, Variovorax paradoxus only in the stem, and Fimbriimonas 97%-OTUs only in the spathe, i.e., considered specialists, while Brevibacillus, Lachnospiraceae, Pseudomonas, and Pseudomonas pseudoalcaligenes were generalist and colonized all plant parts. The anaerobic diazotrophic bacteria Lachnospiraceae, Clostridium sp., and Clostridium bifermentans colonized the shoot system. Phylotypes belonging to Pseudomonas were detected in the rhizosphere and in the substrate (an equiproportional mixture of soil, cow manure, and peat), and dominated the endosphere. Pseudomonas included nine 97%-OTUs with different patterns of distribution and phylogenetic affiliations with different species. P. pseudoalcaligenes and P. putida dominated the shoots, but were also found in the roots and rhizosphere. P. fluorescens was present in all plant parts, while P. resinovorans, P. denitrificans, P. aeruginosa, and P. stutzeri were only detected in the substrate and rhizosphere. The composition of plant-associated bacterial communities is generally considered to be suitable as an indicator of plant health.
PMCID: PMC5017810  PMID: 27524305
endophytes; endosphere; plant-microbe association; plant microbiome; rhizosphere microbiome
16.  Chromosomal diversification and karyotype evolution of diploids in the cytologically diverse genus Prospero (Hyacinthaceae) 
Prospero (Hyacinthaceae) provides a unique system to assess the impact of genome rearrangements on plant diversification and evolution. The genus exhibits remarkable chromosomal variation but very little morphological differentiation. Basic numbers of x = 4, 5, 6 and 7, extensive polyploidy, and numerous polymorphic chromosome variants were described, but only three species are commonly recognized: P. obtusifolium, P. hanburyi, and P. autumnale s.l., the latter comprising four diploid cytotypes. The relationship between evolutionary patterns and chromosomal variation in diploids, the basic modules of the extensive cytological diversity, is presented.
Evolutionary inferences were derived from fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with 5S and 35S rDNA, genome size estimations, and phylogenetic analyses of internal transcribed spacer (ITS) of 35S rDNA of 49 diploids in the three species and all cytotypes of P. autumnale s.l. All species and cytotypes possess a single 35S rDNA locus, interstitial except in P. hanburyi where it is sub-terminal, and one or two 5S rDNA loci (occasionally a third in P. obtusifolium) at fixed locations. The localization of the two rDNA types is unique for each species and cytotype. Phylogenetic data in the P. autumnale complex enable tracing of the evolution of rDNA loci, genome size, and direction of chromosomal fusions: mixed descending dysploidy of x = 7 to x = 6 and independently to x = 5, rather than successive descending dysploidy, is proposed.
All diploid cytotypes are recovered as well-defined evolutionary lineages. The cytogenetic and phylogenetic approaches have provided excellent phylogenetic markers to infer the direction of chromosomal change in Prospero. Evolution in Prospero, especially in the P. autumnale complex, has been driven by differentiation of an ancestral karyotype largely unaccompanied by morphological change. These new results provide a framework for detailed analyses of various types of chromosomal rearrangements and karyotypic variation in polyploids.
PMCID: PMC3728210  PMID: 23819574
Chromosomal evolution; FISH; Genome size; Hyacinthaceae; ITS; Phylogeny; Prospero; rDNA
17.  rDNA Loci Evolution in the Genus Glechoma (Lamiaceae) 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(11):e0167177.
Glechoma L. (Lamiaceae) is distributed in eastern Asia and Europe. Understanding chromosome evolution in Glechoma has been strongly hampered by its small chromosomes, constant karyotype and polyploidy. Here phylogenetic patterns and chromosomal variation in Glechoma species are considered, using genome sizes, chromosome mapping of 5S and 35S rDNAs by fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH), and phylogenetic analyses of internal transcribed spacers (nrITS) of 35S rDNA and 5S rDNA NTS sequences. Species and populations of Glechoma are tetraploid (2n = 36) with base chromosome number of x = 9. Four chromosomes carry pericentric 5S rDNA sites in their short arms in all the species. Two to four of these chromosomes also carry 35S rDNA in subterminal regions of the same arms. Two to four other chromosomes have 35S rDNA sites, all located subterminally within short arms; one individual possessed additional weak pericentric 35S rDNA signals on three other chromosomes. Five types of rDNA locus distribution have been defined on the basis of 35S rDNA variation, but none is species-specific, and most species have more than one type. Glechoma hederacea has four types. Genome size in Glechoma ranges from 0.80 to 0.94 pg (1C), with low levels of intrapopulational variation in all species. Phylogenetic analyses of ITS and NTS sequences distinguish three main clades coinciding with geographical distribution: European (G. hederacea–G. hirsuta), Chinese and Korean (G. longituba), and Japanese (G. grandis). The paper presents the first comparative cytogenetic analyses of Glechoma species including karyotype structure, rDNA location and number, and genome size interpreted in a phylogenetic context. The observed variation suggests that the genus is still in genomic flux. Genome size, but not rDNA loci number and distribution, provides a character for species delimitation which allows better inferences of interspecific relationships to be made, in the absence of well-defined morphological differentiation.
PMCID: PMC5117774  PMID: 27870903
18.  Molecular Phylogeny of the Cliff Ferns (Woodsiaceae: Polypodiales) with a Proposed Infrageneric Classification 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(9):e0136318.
The cliff fern family Woodsiaceae has experienced frequent taxonomic changes at the familial and generic ranks since its establishment. The bulk of its species were placed in Woodsia, while Cheilanthopsis, Hymenocystis, Physematium, and Protowoodsia are segregates recognized by some authors. Phylogenetic relationships among the genera of Woodsiaceae remain unclear because of the extreme morphological diversity and inadequate taxon sampling in phylogenetic studies to date. In this study, we carry out comprehensive phylogenetic analyses of Woodsiaceae using molecular evidence from four chloroplast DNA markers (atpA, matK, rbcL and trnL–F) and covering over half the currently recognized species. Our results show three main clades in Woodsiaceae corresponding to Physematium (clade I), Cheilanthopsis–Protowoodsia (clade II) and Woodsia s.s. (clade III). In the interest of preserving monophyly and taxonomic stability, a broadly defined Woodsia including the other segregates is proposed, which is characterized by the distinctive indument and inferior indusia. Therefore, we present a new subgeneric classification of the redefined Woodsia based on phylogenetic and ancestral state reconstructions to better reflect the morphological variation, geographic distribution pattern, and evolutionary history of the genus. Our analyses of the cytological character evolution support multiple aneuploidy events that have resulted in the reduction of chromosome base number from 41 to 33, 37, 38, 39 and 40 during the evolutionary history of the cliff ferns.
PMCID: PMC4562699  PMID: 26348852
19.  Island species radiation and karyotypic stasis in Pachycladon allopolyploids 
Pachycladon (Brassicaceae, tribe Camelineae) is a monophyletic genus of ten morphologically and ecogeographically differentiated, and presumably allopolyploid species occurring in the South Island of New Zealand and in Tasmania. All Pachycladon species possess ten chromosome pairs (2n = 20). The feasibility of comparative chromosome painting (CCP) in crucifer species allows the origin and genome evolution in this genus to be elucidated. We focus on the origin and genome evolution of Pachycladon as well as on its genomic relationship to other crucifer species, particularly to the allopolyploid Australian Camelineae taxa. As species radiation on islands is usually characterized by chromosomal stasis, i.e. uniformity of chromosome numbers/ploidy levels, the role of major karyotypic reshuffling during the island adaptive and species radiation in Pachycladon is investigated through whole-genome CCP analysis.
The four analyzed Pachycladon species possess an identical karyotype structure. The consensual ancestral karyotype is most likely common to all Pachycladon species and corroborates the monophyletic origin of the genus evidenced by previous phylogenetic analyses. The ancestral Pachycladon karyotype (n = 10) originated through an allopolyploidization event between two genomes structurally resembling the Ancestral Crucifer Karyotype (ACK, n = 8). The primary allopolyploid (apparently with n = 16) has undergone genome reshuffling by descending dysploidy toward n = 10. Chromosome "fusions" were mediated by inversions, translocations and centromere inactivation/loss. Pachycladon chromosome 3 (PC3) resulted from insertional fusion, described in grasses. The allopolyploid ancestor originated in Australia, from the same or closely related ACK-like parental species as the Australian Camelineae allopolyploids. However, the two whole-genome duplication (WGD) events were independent, with the Pachycladon WGD being significantly younger. The long-distance dispersal of the diploidized Pachycladon ancestor to New Zealand was followed by the Pleistocene species radiation in alpine habitats and characterized by karyotypic stasis.
Karyotypic stasis in Pachycladon suggests that the insular species radiation in this genus proceeded through homoploid divergence rather than through species-specific gross chromosomal repatterning. The ancestral Pachycladon genome originated in Australia through an allopolyploidization event involving two closely related parental genomes, and spread to New Zealand by a long-distance dispersal. We argue that the chromosome number decrease mediated by inter-genomic reshuffling (diploidization) could provide the Pachycladon allopolyploid founder with an adaptive advantage to colonize montane/alpine habitats. The ancestral Pachycladon karyotype remained stable during the Pleistocene adaptive radiation into ten different species.
PMCID: PMC3014931  PMID: 21114825
20.  Chromosome diversity and evolution in Liliaceae 
Annals of Botany  2008;103(3):459-475.
Background and Aims
There is an extensive literature on the diversity of karyotypes found in genera within Liliaceae, but there has been no attempt to analyse these data within a robust phylogenetic framework. In part this has been due to a lack of consensus on which genera comprise Liliaceae and the relationships between them. Recently, however, this changed with the proposal for a relatively broad circumscription of Liliaceae comprising 15 genera and an improved understanding of the evolutionary relationships between them. Thus there is now the opportunity to examine patterns and trends in chromosome evolution across the family as a whole.
Based on an extensive literature survey, karyo-morphometric features for 217 species belonging to all genera in Liliaceae sensu the APG (Angiosperm Phylogeny Group) were obtained. Included in the data set were basic chromosome number, ploidy, chromosome total haploid length (THL) and 13 different measures of karyotype asymmetry. In addition, genome size estimates for all species studied were inferred from THLs using a power regression model constructed from the data set. Trends in karyotype evolution were analysed by superimposing the karyological data onto a phylogenetic framework for Liliaceae.
Key Results and Conclusions
Combining the large amount of data enabled mean karyotypes to be produced, highlighting marked differences in karyotype structure between the 15 genera. Further differences were noted when various parameters for analysing karyotype asymmetry were assessed. By examining the effects of increasing genome size on karyotype asymmetry, it was shown that in many but not all (e.g. Fritillaria and all of Tulipeae) species, the additional DNA was added preferentially to the long arms of the shorter chromosomes rather than being distributed across the whole karyotype. This unequal pattern of DNA addition is novel, contrasting with the equal and proportional patterns of DNA increase previously reported. Overall, the large-scale analyses of karyotype features within a well-supported phylogenetic framework enabled the most likely patterns of chromosome evolution in Liliaceae to be reconstructed, highlighting diverse modes of karyotype evolution, even within this comparatively small monocot family.
PMCID: PMC2707325  PMID: 19033282
C-value; chromosomes; genome size; karyotype asymmetry; karyotype evolution; Liliaceae; Liliales; polyploidy
21.  Evolutionary and Taxonomic Implications of Variation in Nuclear Genome Size: Lesson from the Grass Genus Anthoxanthum (Poaceae) 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(7):e0133748.
The genus Anthoxanthum (sweet vernal grass, Poaceae) represents a taxonomically intricate polyploid complex with large phenotypic variation and its evolutionary relationships still poorly resolved. In order to get insight into the geographic distribution of ploidy levels and assess the taxonomic value of genome size data, we determined C- and Cx-values in 628 plants representing all currently recognized European species collected from 197 populations in 29 European countries. The flow cytometric estimates were supplemented by conventional chromosome counts.
In addition to diploids, we found two low (rare 3x and common 4x) and one high (~16x–18x) polyploid levels. Mean holoploid genome sizes ranged from 5.52 pg in diploid A. alpinum to 44.75 pg in highly polyploid A. amarum, while the size of monoploid genomes ranged from 2.75 pg in tetraploid A. alpinum to 9.19 pg in diploid A. gracile. In contrast to Central and Northern Europe, which harboured only limited cytological variation, a much more complex pattern of genome sizes was revealed in the Mediterranean, particularly in Corsica. Eight taxonomic groups that partly corresponded to traditionally recognized species were delimited based on genome size values and phenotypic variation. Whereas our data supported the merger of A. aristatum and A. ovatum, eastern Mediterranean populations traditionally referred to as diploid A. odoratum were shown to be cytologically distinct, and may represent a new taxon. Autopolyploid origin was suggested for 4x A. alpinum. In contrast, 4x A. odoratum seems to be an allopolyploid, based on the amounts of nuclear DNA. Intraspecific variation in genome size was observed in all recognized species, the most striking example being the A. aristatum/ovatum complex.
Altogether, our study showed that genome size can be a useful taxonomic marker in Anthoxathum to not only guide taxonomic decisions but also help resolve evolutionary relationships in this challenging grass genus.
PMCID: PMC4514812  PMID: 26207824
22.  New hosts of Myrothecium SPP. In brazil and a preliminary In Vitro assay of fungicides 
Brazilian Journal of Microbiology  2010;41(1):246-252.
Myrothecium roridum and M. verrucaria are two plant pathogenic species causing foliar spots in a large number of cultivated plants. This paper aims to study the causal agents of foliar spots in vegetable crops (sweet pepper, tomato, cucumber), ornamental plants (Spathiphyllum, Solidago canadensis, Anthurium, Dieffenbachia) and a solanaceous weed plant (Nicandra physalodes). Most of the isolates were identified as M. roridum; only the isolate ‘Myr-02’ from S. canadensis was identified as M. verrucaria. All the isolates were pathogenic to their original plant hosts and also to some other plants. Some fungicides were tested in vitro against an isolate of M. roridum and the mycelial growth recorded after seven days. Fungicides with quartenary ammonium, Tebuconzole and copper were highly effective in inhibiting the mycelial growth of M. roridum. This paper confirms the first record of M. roridum causing leaf spots in sweet pepper, tomato, Spathiphyllum, Anthurium, Dieffenbachia and N. physalodes. We also report M. roridum as causal agent of cucumber fruit rot and also M. verrucaria in tango plants.
PMCID: PMC3768628  PMID: 24031487
Myrothecium roridum; M. verrucaria; vegetable crops; quorum sensing; weeds; etiology
23.  Characterization of Myrothecium roridum Isolated from Imported Anthurium Plant Culture Medium 
Mycobiology  2014;42(1):82-85.
During an investigation of microorganisms and pests in plant culture media from imported anthurium pots, a fungal isolate (DUCC4002) was detected. Based on its morphological characters including colony shape on potato dextrose agar, the microstructures of spores observed by light and scanning electron microscopy and the results of phylogenetic analysis using an internal transcribed spacer rDNA sequence, the fungal isolate was identified as Myrothecium roridum. Pathogenicity testing on anthurium leaves revealed that the fungus could colonize and produce sporodochia on the inoculated leaves. This is the first report of M. roridum detected in imported plant culture medium in Korea.
PMCID: PMC4004954  PMID: 24808740
Anthurium; Import; Myrothecium roridum; Plant culture medium
24.  Molecular phylogeny and genome size evolution of the genus Betula (Betulaceae) 
Annals of Botany  2016;117(6):1023-1035.
Background and Aims Betula L. (birch) is a genus of approx. 60 species, subspecies or varieties with a wide distribution in the northern hemisphere, of ecological and economic importance. A new classification of Betula has recently been proposed based on morphological characters. This classification differs somewhat from previously published molecular phylogenies, which may be due to factors such as convergent evolution, hybridization, incomplete taxon sampling or misidentification of samples. While chromosome counts have been made for many species, few have had their genome size measured. The aim of this study is to produce a new phylogenetic and genome size analysis of the genus.
Methods Internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions of nuclear ribosomal DNA were sequenced for 76 Betula samples verified by taxonomic experts, representing approx. 60 taxa, of which approx. 24 taxa have not been included in previous phylogenetic analyses. A further 49 samples from other collections were also sequenced, and 108 ITS sequences were downloaded from GenBank. Phylogenetic trees were built for these sequences. The genome sizes of 103 accessions representing nearly all described species were estimated using flow cytometry.
Key Results As expected for a gene tree of a genus where hybridization and allopolyploidy occur, the ITS tree shows clustering, but not resolved monophyly, for the morphological subgenera recently proposed. Most sections show some clustering, but species of the dwarf section Apterocaryon are unusually scattered. Betula corylifolia (subgenus Nipponobetula) unexpectedly clusters with species of subgenus Aspera. Unexpected placements are also found for B. maximowicziana, B. bomiensis, B. nigra and B. grossa. Biogeographical disjunctions were found within Betula between Europe and North America, and also disjunctions between North-east and South-west Asia. The 2C-values for Betula ranged from 0·88 to 5·33 pg, and polyploids are scattered widely throughout the ITS phylogeny. Species with large genomes tend to have narrow ranges.
Conclusions Betula grossa may have formed via allopolyploidization between parents in subgenus Betula and subgenus Aspera. Betula bomiensis may also be a wide allopolyploid. Betula corylifolia may be a parental species of allopolyploids in the subsection Chinenses. Placements of B. maximowicziana, B. michauxii and B. nigra need further investigation. This analysis, in line with previous studies, suggests that section Apterocaryon is not monophyletic and thus dwarfism has evolved repeatedly in different lineages of Betula. Polyploidization has occurred many times independently in the evolution of Betula.
PMCID: PMC4866320  PMID: 27072644
Betula; convergent evolution; genome size; hybridization; ITS; phylogeny; polyploidy
25.  Testing Phylogenetic Hypotheses of the Subgenera of the Freshwater Crayfish Genus Cambarus (Decapoda: Cambaridae) 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(9):e46105.
The genus Cambarus is one of three most species rich crayfish genera in the Northern Hemisphere. The genus has its center of diversity in the Southern Appalachians of the United States and has been divided into 12 subgenera. Using Cambarus we test the correspondence of subgeneric designations based on morphology used in traditional crayfish taxonomy to the underlying evolutionary history for these crayfish. We further test for significant correlation and explanatory power of geographic distance, taxonomic model, and a habitat model to estimated phylogenetic distance with multiple variable regression.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We use three mitochondrial and one nuclear gene regions to estimate the phylogenetic relationships for species within the genus Cambarus and test evolutionary hypotheses of relationships and associated morphological and biogeographical hypotheses. Our resulting phylogeny indicates that the genus Cambarus is polyphyletic, however we fail to reject the monophyly of Cambarus with a topology test. The majority of the Cambarus subgenera are rejected as monophyletic, suggesting the morphological characters used to define those taxa are subject to convergent evolution. While we found incongruence between taxonomy and estimated phylogenetic relationships, a multiple model regression analysis indicates that taxonomy had more explanatory power of genetic relationships than either habitat or geographic distance.
We find convergent evolution has impacted the morphological features used to delimit Cambarus subgenera. Studies of the crayfish genus Orconectes have shown gonopod morphology used to delimit subgenera is also affected by convergent evolution. This suggests that morphological diagnoses based on traditional crayfish taxonomy might be confounded by convergent evolution across the cambarids and has little utility in diagnosing relationships or defining natural groups. We further suggest that convergent morphological evolution appears to be a common occurrence in invertebrates suggesting the need for careful phylogenetically based interpretations of morphological evolution in invertebrate systematics.
PMCID: PMC3458831  PMID: 23049950

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