Benedict, John .
Using fruit and seeds of Zingiberales to understand character evolution and phylogeny.
The Zingiberales are a diverse group of monocots that inhabit the understory of tropical and subtropical forests across the globe. Phylogenetic studies based on combined morphology and molecules have established the validity of the eight recognized families, and confirmed the monophyly of the order. Typically, floral and vegetative characters are incorporated into datasets to assess phylogenetic relationships, however fruit and seed characters are less frequently used. In conjunction with my study of the fossil record of zingiberalean fruits and seeds, a survey of extant forms reveals over a dozen characters of potential phylogenetic significance. For example, fruits in the order vary in locule number (1-3), placentation, and type, from mostly berries (Musaceae) or loculicidal capsules (Cannaceae, Costaceae, Strelitziaceae, Lowiaceae) to drupe-like fruits (Heliconiaceae), with some families having several different fruit types (Marantaceae, Zingiberaceae). Anatomical details of fruit pericarps throughout the order are not well known. Seeds are also quite variable. Characters such as the aril, embryo shape, seed coat, micropylar collar, and chalazal chamber promise additional data for testing phylogenetic hypotheses. Together, extant fruit and seed characters can be compared to their fossil counterparts to enhance our understanding about both character evolution and the phylogeny of the Zingiberales.
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1 - Arizona State University, School Of Life Sciences, PO Box 4601, Tempe, AZ, 85287-4601, USA
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Location: Lindell A/Chase Park Plaza
Date: Wednesday, July 13th, 2011
Time: 11:45 AM