A plastid phylogeny and character evolution of the Old World fern genus Pyrrosia (Polypodiaceae) with the description of a new genus: Hovenkampia (Polypodiaceae)


The Old World fern genus Pyrrosia (Polypodiaceae) offers a rare system in ferns to study morphological evolution because almost all species of this genus are well studied for their morphology, anatomy, and spore features, and various hypotheses have been proposed in terms of the phylogeny and evolution in this genus. However, the molecular phylogeny of the genus lags behind. The monophyly of the genus has been uncertain and a modern phylogenetic study of the genus based on molecular data has been lacking. In the present study, DNA sequences of five plastid markers of 220 accessions of Polypodiaceae representing two species of Drymoglossum, 14 species of Platycerium, 50 species of Pyrrosia, and the only species of Saxiglossum (subfamily Platycerioideae), and 12 species of other Polypodiaceae representing the remaining four subfamilies are used to infer a phylogeny of the genus. Major results and conclusions of this study include: (1) Pyrrosia as currently circumscribed is paraphyletic in relation to Platycerium and can be divided into two genera: Pyrrosia s.s. and Hovenkampia (gen. nov.), with Hovenkampia and Platycerium forming a strongly supported clade sister to Pyrrosia s.s.; (2) Subfamily Platycerioideae should contain three genera only, Hovenkampia, Platycerium, and Pyrrosia s.s.; (3) Based on the molecular phylogeny, macromorphology, anatomical features, and spore morphology, four major clades in the genus are identified and three of the four are further resolved into four, four, and six subclades, respectively; (4) Three species, P. angustissima, P. foveolata, and P. mannii, not assigned to any groups by Hovenkamp (1986) because of their unusual morphology, each form monospecific clades; (5) Drymoglossum is not monophyletic and those species previously assigned to this genus are resolved in two different subclades; (6) Saxiglossum is resolved as the first lineage in the Niphopsis clade; and (7) The evolution of ten major morphological characters in the subfamily is inferred based on the phylogeny and various morphological synapomorphies for various clades and subclades are identified.

Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 114: 271–294
Joel H. Nitta
Joel H. Nitta
Project Research Associate

My research interests fern systematics, community ecology, and reproducible analysis.