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Morphoanatomy and phytochemistry of species of Lychnophorinae subtribe (Asteraceae: Vernonieae) as subsidies for the phylogenetic analyses of group

Makeli Garibotti Lusa
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Doctoral Thesis
Institution: Universidade Estadual de Campinas. Instituto de Biologia
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Cleusa Bona; Élder Antônio Souza e Paiva; Juliana Lischka Sampaio Mayer; André Olmos Simões
Advisor: Beatriz Appezzato da Glória

Asteraceae is one of the largest flowering plants families, with 24,000-30,000 species, representing approximately 10% of the world's flora. Currently, 21 subtribes are recognized in Vernonieae. Among them, Lychnophorinae is nearly endemic to Brazil, occurring in campos rupestres areas and savannas of Central Plateau. The subtribe has 18 genera and 104 species distributed among the various habits: perennial herbs, shrubs, subshrubs, treelets, trees and caulirosuletum. Recent phylogenetic studies show that the subtribe is monophyletic. The most "basal" and more "derived" strains are well supported, however, relationships between the remaining clades persist partially unresolved. Therefore, in this study, species of the subtribe are investigated in relation to morphoanatomy and chemistry of the main metabolites of aerial stems and leaves, searching for new characters that might be useful for a better understanding of the group evolution, including possible synapomorphies. To this aim, key species were chosen in Lychnophorinae, representing the principal lineages. For structural and histochemical analyzes, samples of leaves and stems were processed according to usual plant anatomy techniques. For phytochemical analysis, the extracts were analyzed by liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. Reconstructions of ancestral states of the characters was performed using parsimony in a phylogeny based on morphological and molecular data. In Lychnophorinae, the major sites of synthesis of secondary metabolites are: glandular trichomes, epidermal idioblasts and parenchyma of the leaves and stems. The phytochemical analysis revealed the presence of flavonoids, derivatives of trans-cinnamic acid, sesquiterpene lactones and polyacetylenes. The reconstruction of ancestral states of these substances in the phylogeny of the subtribe indicate possible chemical synapomorphies. During the morphoanatomic analyzes two important events in Lychnophorinae were observed. The first reports the occurrence of phytomelanin aerial stems and leaves of Lychnophorinae. Reconstructions of ancestral states of the characters suggest that the most recent common ancestral of Lychnophorinae presented phytomelanin in thickened stem. The second morphoanatomical novelty relates to a method of unusual water retention of apexes, where a substance hyaline is a result of parietal degradation of non glandular trichomes, and it has hydrophilic nature. This substance probably has the function to protect young organs from desiccation. During the anatomical investigations of stems and leaves of Lychnophorinae, we observed frequently reported as xeric peculiar characteristics, and seek to understand whether these characteristics showed some pattern that grouped species. We performed multivariate analysis taking into account the peculiar characteristics. The results indicated four functional groups Lychnophorinae and signaled that grouped species occupy the same niche, which reflect specific conditions in different environments. Finally, after completing the anatomical analyzes, the features were mapped on the phylogeny of Lychnophorinae and generated important information such as the identification of eight possible synapomorphies. The information generated in this study suggest that the evolution of morphological and anatomical diversity in Lychnophorinae may have been driven by adaptive pressures, derived from ecophysiological factors of restricted environments in which most species inhabit. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 10/02085-5 - Morphology, anatomy and phytochemistry of species of subtribe Lychnophorinae (Asteraceae: Vernonieae) as subsidies for the phylogenetic analysis of group
Grantee:Makeli Garibotti Lusa
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate