Origin and evolution of the unusual leaf epidermis of Caryodaphnopsis (Lauraceae)

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2014
Authors:G. Zeng, Liu, B., van der Werff, H., Ferguson, D. K., Yang, Y.
Journal:Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics
Start Page:296
Date Published:07/2014

<p>We studied leaf epidermal anatomy of Caryodaphnopsis Airy Shaw, a genus disjunct between tropical Asia and tropical America, using light microscope and scanning electron microscope. We sampled 10 species of Caryodaphnopsis and 52 species of other Lauraceous genera. Our observations suggest that this genus possesses a unique lower leaf epidermis. Compared with other leaves of Lauraceae, this genus has an additional layer covering the lower leaf epidermis and the stomatal apparatus. The additional layer is either closed or poriferous/reticulate. The outer periclinal walls of the lower leaf epidermis protrude outside forming hollow domes or columns, and the distal endings of these domes or columns are expanded and fused, which forms the additional covering layer. Three different types are recognized in the genus: (1) the middle portion of the protuberances is not contracted and the distal endings are free or adnate to each other, with only limited space between the two layers; (2) the middle portion is slightly contracted in the outer part, the distal endings are fused, with more space between the two layers; (3) the middle portion is conspicuously contracted and elongated into columns, the distal endings are fused and it is roomy between the two layers. The structure of the leaf lower epidermis is reconstructed and illustrated for the first time. This unusual leaf lower epidermis of Caryodaphnopsis is derived in Lauraceae and is an autapomorphic character. Outward protrusions of the outer periclinal walls forming papillate protuberances surrounding the stomatal apparatus are also found in a few other genera including Neocinnamomum, a genus closely related to Caryodaphnopsis, but the distal endings of these protrusions are not expanded and connected. We hypothesize that the periclinal wall of the lower leaf epidermis has been gradually modified in Lauraceae, from a smooth pattern in most genera, to papillate pattern (e.g. Neocinnamomum), and to the double layered lower leaf epidermis in Caryodaphnopsis. The origin and evolution of this unique lower epidermis might have been related to the climatic cooling and aridification since the late Eocene.</p>

Alternate Journal:Perspect. Pl. Ecol. Evol. Syst.
Refereed Designation:Refereed
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith