Background and Aims: The gymnosperm order Cycadales is pivotal to our understanding of seed-plant phylogeny because of its phylogenetic placement close to the root node of extant spermatophytes and its combination of both derived and plesiomorphic character states. Although widely considered a 'living fossil' group, extant cycads display a high degree of morphological and anatomical variation. We investigate stomatal development in Zamiaceae to evaluate variation within the order and homologies between cycads and other seed plants. Methods: Leaflets of seven species across five genera representing all major clades of Zamiaceae were examined at various stages of development using light microscopy and confocal microscopy. Key Results: All genera examined have lateral subsidiary cells of perigenous origin that differ from other pavement cells in mature leaflets and could have a role in stomatal physiology. Early epidermal patterning in a 'quartet' arrangement occurs in Ceratozamia, Zamia and Stangeria. Distal encircling cells, which are sclerified at maturity, are present in all genera except Bowenia, which shows relatively rapid elongation and differentiation of the pavement cells during leaflet development. Conclusions: Stomatal structure and development in Zamiaceae highlights some traits that are plesiomorphic in seed plants, including the presence of perigenous encircling subsidiary cells, and reveals a clear difference between the developmental trajectories of cycads and Bennettitales. Our study also shows an unexpected degree of variation among subclades in the family, potentially linked to differences in leaflet development and suggesting convergent evolution in cycads.

Stomatal development in the Cycad family Zamiaceae

Barone Lumaga M. R.;
2021

Abstract

Background and Aims: The gymnosperm order Cycadales is pivotal to our understanding of seed-plant phylogeny because of its phylogenetic placement close to the root node of extant spermatophytes and its combination of both derived and plesiomorphic character states. Although widely considered a 'living fossil' group, extant cycads display a high degree of morphological and anatomical variation. We investigate stomatal development in Zamiaceae to evaluate variation within the order and homologies between cycads and other seed plants. Methods: Leaflets of seven species across five genera representing all major clades of Zamiaceae were examined at various stages of development using light microscopy and confocal microscopy. Key Results: All genera examined have lateral subsidiary cells of perigenous origin that differ from other pavement cells in mature leaflets and could have a role in stomatal physiology. Early epidermal patterning in a 'quartet' arrangement occurs in Ceratozamia, Zamia and Stangeria. Distal encircling cells, which are sclerified at maturity, are present in all genera except Bowenia, which shows relatively rapid elongation and differentiation of the pavement cells during leaflet development. Conclusions: Stomatal structure and development in Zamiaceae highlights some traits that are plesiomorphic in seed plants, including the presence of perigenous encircling subsidiary cells, and reveals a clear difference between the developmental trajectories of cycads and Bennettitales. Our study also shows an unexpected degree of variation among subclades in the family, potentially linked to differences in leaflet development and suggesting convergent evolution in cycads.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11588/892867
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