Plant Morphology and Phylogenetic Evolution

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Development and Morphogenesis".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2023) | Viewed by 19896

Special Issue Editor

College of Forestry, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, China
Interests: plant morphology and origin of angiosperms

Special Issue Information

Plant morphology is the way of people to recognize and understand plants within their enviroment and is  one of the basic disciplines of plant biology or botany. It is the study of the physical form and structure of plants, which depends on the methodolgy of plant anatomy dealing with tissues, cells, and subcellular components. Exploiting the diversity and functions of plant structures could create opportunities to understand plant–environmental interactions and plant evolution. Plant morphology has been absorbed into Evolutionary Developmental Biology (Evo-Devo). This does, however, not diminish the importance and relevance of plant morphology. In addition to molecular genetics, morphology remains an integral part of Evo-Devo. Plant morphology, as a valuable discipline of EvoDevo, is set for a paradigm shift. In addition, the study of plant morphology has given us important insights into the control of plant development, structure, and function. This Special Issue of Plants will highlight the function, evolution, and diversity of plant morphology and evolution and in their role in the interactions of plants with their environment.

Dr. Xin Zhang
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Plants is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • plant morphology
  • anatomy
  • evo-devo
  • evolution
  • systematics
  • diversity
  • ontogeny
  • micromethodology

Published Papers (9 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Other

17 pages, 3877 KiB  
Article
Analyzing Morphology, Metabolomics, and Transcriptomics Offers Invaluable Insights into the Mechanisms of Pigment Accumulation in the Diverse-Colored Labellum Tissues of Alpinia
by Tong Zhao, Qianxia Yu, Canjia Lin, Huanfang Liu, Limei Dong, Xinxin Feng and Jingping Liao
Plants 2023, 12(21), 3766; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12213766 - 3 Nov 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 899
Abstract
Alpinia plants are widely cherished for their vibrant and captivating flowers. The unique feature of this genus lies in their labellum, a specialized floral structure resulting from the fusion of two non-fertile staminodes. However, the intricate process of pigment formation, leading to distinct [...] Read more.
Alpinia plants are widely cherished for their vibrant and captivating flowers. The unique feature of this genus lies in their labellum, a specialized floral structure resulting from the fusion of two non-fertile staminodes. However, the intricate process of pigment formation, leading to distinct color patterns in the various labellum segments of Alpinia, remains a subject of limited understanding. In this study, labellum tissues of two Alpinia species, A. zerumbet (yellow–orange flowers) and A. oxyphylla (white–purple flowers), were sampled and analyzed through morphological structure observation, metabolite analysis, and transcriptome analyses. We found that hemispherical/spherical epidermal cells and undulate cell population morphology usually display darker flower colors, while flat epidermal cells and cell populations usually exhibit lighter flower colors. Metabolomic analysis identified a high concentration of anthocyanins, particularly peonidin derivatives, in segments with orange and purple pigments. Additionally, segments with yellow pigments showed significant accumulations of flavones, flavanols, flavanones, and xanthophylls. Furthermore, our investigation into gene expression levels through qRT-PCR revealed notable differences in several genes that participated in anthocyanin and carotenoid biosynthesis among the four pigmented segments. Collectively, these findings offer a comprehensive understanding of pigmentation in Alpinia flowers and serve as a valuable resource for guiding future breeding efforts aimed at developing Alpinia varieties with novel flower colors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Morphology and Phylogenetic Evolution)
Show Figures

Figure 1

18 pages, 4466 KiB  
Article
A Phylogenetic and Morphological Evolution Study of Ribes L. in China Using RAD-Seq
by Baoshan Zhang, Ziyang Yu, Zhichao Xu and Baojiang Zheng
Plants 2023, 12(4), 829; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12040829 - 13 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2195
Abstract
Ribes L. belongs to the Grossulariaceae family and has important edible, medicinal, ornamental, and landscaping values. Taxonomic classification within this genus is difficult due to its large variety of species, wide distribution, large morphological variations, and presence of two complex taxonomic groups with [...] Read more.
Ribes L. belongs to the Grossulariaceae family and has important edible, medicinal, ornamental, and landscaping values. Taxonomic classification within this genus is difficult due to its large variety of species, wide distribution, large morphological variations, and presence of two complex taxonomic groups with bisexual or unisexual flowers. Our study aims to clarify the phylogenetic relationships of Ribes L. taxa in China, and further, to provide a reference for a revised global classification of it. The phylogenetic analysis of 52 Ribes L. samples from 30 species was constructed based on restriction site-associated DNA sequencing and single nucleotide polymorphisms. Afterward, two important taxonomic characters were selected for ancestral state reconstruction over the molecular phylogeny. The results showed that the 52 samples could be divided into six branches, i.e., six subgenera, which caused some controversy regarding the morphological classification of Ribes L. in China. The molecular phylogeny supported the separation of subg. Coreosma from subg. Ribesia and subg. Hemibotrya from subg. Berisia and validated the rationale for recognizing subg. Grossularia as an independent subgenus, the rationality of which was further verified by the reconstruction of ancestor traits. Gene flow among Ribes L. was identified and further confirmed our results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Morphology and Phylogenetic Evolution)
Show Figures

Figure 1

21 pages, 6320 KiB  
Article
Developmental Programmed Cell Death Involved in Ontogenesis of Dictamnus dasycarpus Capitate Glandular Hairs
by Yafu Zhou, Gen Li, Guijun Han, Lulu Xun, Shaoli Mao, Luyao Yang and Yanwen Wang
Plants 2023, 12(2), 395; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12020395 - 14 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1662
Abstract
Plant glandular trichomes have received much attention due to their commercial and biological value. Recent studies have focused on the development of various glands in plants, suggesting that programmed cell death (PCD) may play an important role during the development of plant secretory [...] Read more.
Plant glandular trichomes have received much attention due to their commercial and biological value. Recent studies have focused on the development of various glands in plants, suggesting that programmed cell death (PCD) may play an important role during the development of plant secretory structures. However, the development processes and cytological characteristics in different types of plant secretory structures differed significantly. This study aims to provide new data on the developmental PCD of the capitate glandular hairs in Dictamnus dasycarpus. Light, scanning, immunofluorescence labeling, and transmission electron microscopy were used to determine the different developmental processes of the capitate glandular hairs from a cytological perspective. Morphologically, the capitate glandular hair originates from one initial epidermal cell and differentiates into a multicellular trichome characterized by two basal cells, two lines of stalk cells, and a multicellular head. It is also histochemically detected by essential oils. TUNEL-positive reactions identified nuclei with diffused fluorescence or an irregular figure by DAPI, and Evans blue staining showed that the head and stalk cells lost their viability. Ultrastructural evidence revealed the developmental process by two possible modes of PCD. Non-autolytic PCD was characterized by buckling cell walls and degenerated nuclei, mitochondria, plastids, multivesicular body (MVB), and end-expanded endoplasmic reticulum in the condensed cytoplasm, which were mainly observed in the head cells. The MVB was detected in the degraded vacuole, a degraded nucleus with condensed chromatin and diffused membrane, and eventual loss of the vacuole membrane integrity exhibited typical evidence of vacuole-mediated autolytic PCD in the stalk cells. Furthermore, protoplasm degeneration coupled with dark oil droplets and numerous micro-dark osmiophilic substances was observed during late stages. The secretion mode of essential oils is also described in this paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Morphology and Phylogenetic Evolution)
Show Figures

Figure 1

8 pages, 1433 KiB  
Article
Pre-Carpels from the Middle Triassic of Spain
by Artai A. Santos and Xin Wang
Plants 2022, 11(21), 2833; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11212833 - 25 Oct 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2208
Abstract
In stark contrast to the multitude of hypotheses on carpel evolution, there is little fossil evidence testing these hypotheses. The recent discovery of angiosperms from the Early Jurassic makes the search for precursors of angiosperm carpels in the Triassic more promising. Our light [...] Read more.
In stark contrast to the multitude of hypotheses on carpel evolution, there is little fossil evidence testing these hypotheses. The recent discovery of angiosperms from the Early Jurassic makes the search for precursors of angiosperm carpels in the Triassic more promising. Our light microscopic and SEM observations on Combina gen. nov., a cone-like organ from the Middle Triassic of Spain, indicate that its lateral unit includes an axillary anatropous ovule and a subtending bract, and the latter almost fully encloses the former. Such an observation not only favors one of the theoretical predictions but also makes some Mesozoic gymnosperms (especially conifers and Combina) comparable to some angiosperms. Combina gen. nov. appears to be an important chimeric fossil plant that may complete the evidence chain of the origin of carpels in geological history, partially narrowing the gap between angiosperms and gymnosperms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Morphology and Phylogenetic Evolution)
Show Figures

Figure 1

18 pages, 9884 KiB  
Article
Correlation between Inflorescence Architecture and Floral Asymmetry—Evidence from Aberrant Flowers in Canna L. (Cannaceae)
by Qianxia Yu, Tong Zhao, Haichan Zhao, Chelsea D. Specht, Xueyi Tian and Jingping Liao
Plants 2022, 11(19), 2512; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11192512 - 26 Sep 2022
Viewed by 2746
Abstract
Floral symmetry studies often focus on the development of monosymmetric and polysymmetric flowers, whereas asymmetric flowers and their position and function within the inflorescence structure are largely neglected. Cannaceae is one of the few families that possesses truly asymmetric flowers, serving as a [...] Read more.
Floral symmetry studies often focus on the development of monosymmetric and polysymmetric flowers, whereas asymmetric flowers and their position and function within the inflorescence structure are largely neglected. Cannaceae is one of the few families that possesses truly asymmetric flowers, serving as a model to study the characters and mechanisms involved in the development of floral asymmetry and its context within the developing and mature inflorescence. In this study, inflorescence structure and floral morphology of normal asymmetric flowers and 16 aberrant flower collections from Canna indica L. and C. glauca L. were photographed, analyzed, and compared with attention to stamen petaloidy, floral symmetry, and inflorescence branching patterns anterior and posterior to the aberrant flower. In comparison with normal flowers, the aberrant flowers are arranged into abnormal partial florescences, and vary in floral symmetry, orientation, and degree of androecial petaloidy. The appendage of the fertile stamen is universally located distal from the higher order bract, indicating an underlying influence of inflorescence architecture. A synthetic model is proposed to explain the relationship between floral symmetry and inflorescence structure. Data from the observation of aberrant phenotypes strongly support the hypothesis that irregular petaloidy of the stamens is correlated with an asymmetric morphogenetic field within the inflorescence that contributes to the overall floral asymmetry in Canna flowers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Morphology and Phylogenetic Evolution)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Other

Jump to: Research

8 pages, 6736 KiB  
Brief Report
How Seeds Attract and Protect: Seed Coat Development of Magnolia
by Qiuhong Feng, Ming Cai, Honglin Li and Xin Zhang
Plants 2024, 13(5), 688; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13050688 - 29 Feb 2024
Viewed by 863
Abstract
Seeds are one of the most important characteristics of plant evolution. Within a seed, the embryo, which will grow into a plant, can survive harsh environments. When the seeds are mature, the mother plant will disperse them from its body, allowing them to [...] Read more.
Seeds are one of the most important characteristics of plant evolution. Within a seed, the embryo, which will grow into a plant, can survive harsh environments. When the seeds are mature, the mother plant will disperse them from its body, allowing them to be taken away to grow in a new place. Otherwise, if the young generation grows alongside the mother plants in the same place, they will compete for sunlight and nutrition. The mother plants use different strategies to send away their seeds. One of these strategies is endozoochory, which means that the seeds disperse via ingestion by animals. There is a conflict between the seeds’ abilities to attract animals and protect the embryo within the digestion systems of animals. Magnolia seeds exhibit typical endozoochory. The seed coats of Magnolia feature sarcotestas and sclerotestas. The sarcotesta, which is fleshy, bright-colored, and edible, attracts animals. The sclerotesta is hard and woody, protecting the embryo from the digestive systems of animals. In this study, we used scanning electron and light microscopes to examine the development of the sarcotesta and sclerotesta of Magnolia stellata seed coats. The results showed that the sarcotesta and sclerotesta come from the outer integument. This result confirms the hypothesis of Asa Gray from 1848. The dependence of the seed dispersal strategy on structural development is discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Morphology and Phylogenetic Evolution)
Show Figures

Figure 1

10 pages, 234 KiB  
Essay
Morpho Evo-Devo of the Gynoecium: Heterotopy, Redefinition of the Carpel, and a Topographic Approach
by Rolf Sattler
Plants 2024, 13(5), 599; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13050599 - 22 Feb 2024
Viewed by 906
Abstract
Since the 19th century, we have had countless debates, sometimes acrimonious, about the nature of the gynoecium. A pivotal question has been whether all angiosperms possess carpels or if some or all angiosperms are acarpellate. We can resolve these debates if we do [...] Read more.
Since the 19th century, we have had countless debates, sometimes acrimonious, about the nature of the gynoecium. A pivotal question has been whether all angiosperms possess carpels or if some or all angiosperms are acarpellate. We can resolve these debates if we do not define the carpel as a closed megasporophyll but simply as an appendage that encloses the placenta or a single ovule. This redefinition may, however, lead to confusion because often it may not be clear whether the traditional (classical) definition of the carpel or the redefinition is implied. Therefore, a topographic approach is proposed that is compatible with the redefinition. According to this approach, gynoecia comprise one or more gynoecial appendages and placentas or single ovules that may be formed in different positions. Heterotopy refers to these different positions. In the context of evo-devo, which explores evolutionary changes in development, morpho evo-devo delves into spatial shifts of the placentas and ovules leading to heterotopy. Furthermore, it considers shifts in timing (heterochrony) and other processes leading to heteromorphy. Recognizing spatial shifting of the placentas or a single ovule and other evolutionary processes opens up new vistas in the search for the ancestor(s) of angiosperms and their gynoecia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Morphology and Phylogenetic Evolution)
12 pages, 3751 KiB  
Perspective
Crop Seed Phenomics: Focus on Non-Destructive Functional Trait Phenotyping Methods and Applications
by Gokhan Hacisalihoglu and Paul Armstrong
Plants 2023, 12(5), 1177; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12051177 - 4 Mar 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3121
Abstract
Seeds play a critical role in ensuring food security for the earth’s 8 billion people. There is great biodiversity in plant seed content traits worldwide. Consequently, the development of robust, rapid, and high-throughput methods is required for seed quality evaluation and acceleration of [...] Read more.
Seeds play a critical role in ensuring food security for the earth’s 8 billion people. There is great biodiversity in plant seed content traits worldwide. Consequently, the development of robust, rapid, and high-throughput methods is required for seed quality evaluation and acceleration of crop improvement. There has been considerable progress in the past 20 years in various non-destructive methods to uncover and understand plant seed phenomics. This review highlights recent advances in non-destructive seed phenomics techniques, including Fourier Transform near infrared (FT-NIR), Dispersive-Diode Array (DA-NIR), Single-Kernel (SKNIR), Micro-Electromechanical Systems (MEMS-NIR) spectroscopy, Hyperspectral Imaging (HSI), and Micro-Computed Tomography Imaging (micro-CT). The potential applications of NIR spectroscopy are expected to continue to rise as more seed researchers, breeders, and growers successfully adopt it as a powerful non-destructive method for seed quality phenomics. It will also discuss the advantages and limitations that need to be solved for each technique and how each method could help breeders and industry with trait identification, measurement, classification, and screening or sorting of seed nutritive traits. Finally, this review will focus on the future outlook for promoting and accelerating crop improvement and sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Morphology and Phylogenetic Evolution)
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 305 KiB  
Essay
Fundamentals of Plant Morphology and Plant Evo-Devo (Evolutionary Developmental Morphology)
by Rolf Sattler and Rolf Rutishauser
Plants 2023, 12(1), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12010118 - 26 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3127
Abstract
Morphological concepts are used in plant evo-devo (evolutionary developmental biology) and other disciplines of plant biology, and therefore plant morphology is relevant to all of these disciplines. Many plant biologists still rely on classical morphology, according to which there are only three mutually [...] Read more.
Morphological concepts are used in plant evo-devo (evolutionary developmental biology) and other disciplines of plant biology, and therefore plant morphology is relevant to all of these disciplines. Many plant biologists still rely on classical morphology, according to which there are only three mutually exclusive organ categories in vascular plants such as flowering plants: root, stem (caulome), and leaf (phyllome). Continuum morphology recognizes a continuum between these organ categories. Instead of Aristotelian identity and either/or logic, it is based on fuzzy logic, according to which membership in a category is a matter of degree. Hence, an organ in flowering plants may be a root, stem, or leaf to some degree. Homology then also becomes a matter of degree. Process morphology supersedes structure/process dualism. Hence, structures do not have processes, they are processes, which means they are process combinations. These process combinations may change during ontogeny and phylogeny. Although classical morphology on the one hand and continuum and process morphology on the other use different kinds of logic, they can be considered complementary and thus together they present a more inclusive picture of the diversity of plant form than any one of the three alone. However, continuum and process morphology are more comprehensive than classical morphology. Insights gained from continuum and process morphology can inspire research in plant morphology and plant evo-devo, especially MorphoEvoDevo. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Morphology and Phylogenetic Evolution)
Back to TopTop