Journal of Plant Research

, Volume 130, Issue 3, pp 527–538 | Cite as

Morphological analysis of vessel elements for systematic study of three Zingiberaceae tribes

  • Kathlyn Vasconcelos Gevú
  • Helena Regina Pinto Lima
  • John Kress
  • Maura Da Cunha
Regular Paper


Zingiberaceae containing over 1,000 species that are divided into four subfamilies and six tribes. In recent decades, there has been an increase in the number of studies about vessel elements in families of monocotyledon. However, there are still few studies of Zingiberaceae tribes. This study aims to establish systematic significance of studying vessel elements in two subfamilies and three tribes of Zingiberaceae. The vegetative organs of 33 species processed were analysed by light and scanning electron microscopy and Principal Component Analysis was used to elucidate genera boundaries. Characteristics of vessel elements, such as the type of perforation plate, the number of bars and type of parietal thickening, are proved to be important for establishing the relationship among taxa. Scalariform perforation plate and the scalariform parietal thickening are frequent in Zingiberaceae and may be a plesiomorphic condition for this taxon. In the Principal Component Analysis, the most significant characters of the vessel elements were: simple perforation plates and partially pitted parietal thickening, found only in Alpinieae tribe, and 40 or more bars composing the plate in Elettariopsis curtisii, Renealmia chrysotricha, Zingiber spectabile, Z. officinale, Curcuma and Globba species. Vessel elements characters of 18 species of Alpinieae, Zingibereae and Globbeae were first described in this work.


Alpinoideae Globbeae Monocotyledon Root Xylem Zingiberoideae 



The authors are indebted to Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Cientifico e Tecnologico (CNPq), the Fundacao de Amparo a Pesquisa do Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ) and Coordenacao de Aperfeicoamento de Pessoal de Nivel Superior (CAPES) for their financial support, and Mike Bordelon and Ida Lopez for the logistical and technical support of in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. This study was part of the tese of the first author, presented to the Programa de Pós-Graduação em Biociências e Biotecnologia da Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro (UENF).


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Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Japan and Springer Japan 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathlyn Vasconcelos Gevú
    • 1
    • 2
  • Helena Regina Pinto Lima
    • 2
  • John Kress
    • 3
  • Maura Da Cunha
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratório de Biologia Celular e Tecidual, Centro de Biociências e BiotecnologiaUniversidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy RibeiroCampos dos GoytacazesBrazil
  2. 2.Departamento de Botânica, Instituto de Biologia, Caixa PostalUniversidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro–UFRRJSeropédicaBrazil
  3. 3.Department of Botany, MRC-166, United States National Herbarium, National Museum of Natural HistorySmithsonian InstitutionWashington, DCUSA

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