Journal of Plant Research

, Volume 125, Issue 2, pp 237–249 | Cite as

Phylogenetic relationships of Chinese Adiantum based on five plastid markers

  • Jin-Mei Lu
  • Jun WenEmail author
  • Sue Lutz
  • Yi-Ping Wang
  • De-Zhu LiEmail author
Regular Paper


Adiantum consists of about 150–200 species mostly with a pantropical distribution, yet the classifications of Adiantum have been based primarily on regional studies. Confounding the clarity of reconstructing the evolutionary history of Adiantum is that previous molecular phylogenetic studies suggest that a separate and distinctive clade, the vittarioids, may be derived from within Adiantum. Five plastid markers (atpA, atpB, rbcL, trnL-F and rps4-trnS) are employed to assess the monophyly of Adiantum, and construct the molecular phylogeny of Chinese Adiantum. Our analyses support the monophyly of Adiantum. All temperate Adiantum species form a clade nested within the pantropical grade, suggesting a tropical origin of Adiantum. Six main clades are supported within Chinese Adiantum, which are only partially consistent with Lin’s classification of the genus. Series Caudata is polyphyletic with series Gravesiana nested within one subgroup of series Caudata. The prolonged whip-like stolon at the apex of the fronds is the defining character for series Caudata, but it may have evolved multiple times. Adiantum reniforme with the simple fronds is sister to series Venusta, which has a decompound lamina with many flabellate to cuneate segments. Series Veneri-capilliformia is not monophyletic, with A. capillus-veneris sister to series Flabellulata except for A. diaphanum, and A. edentulum sister to series Pedata. Series Flabellulata is biphyletic with A. diaphanum nested within the pantropical grade. The phylogeny suggests that convergent evolution in frond architecture has occurred in Adiantum.


Adiantum China Diversification Molecular phylogeny Plastid markers Pteridaceae 



We thank Xiao Cheng, Yu-xiao Zhang, Li-Yaung Kuo, Akiko Soejima and Tom Heutte for sample collection, and Elizabeth Zimmer for providing primers. The study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant no. 31070199, 30800063), the Project of Knowledge Innovation Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant no.: 2010KIBA02), the Research Fund for the Large-scale Scientific Facilities of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant no. 2009-LSF-GBOWS-01), and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (to J. Wen, R. Ree and G. Mueller).


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Copyright information

© US Government 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Plant Biodiversity and BiogeographyKunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of SciencesKunmingChina
  2. 2.Department of Botany, Smithsonian InstitutionNational Museum of Natural HistoryWashingtonUSA
  3. 3.Agricultural CollegeJiangxi Agricultural UniversityNanchangChina
  4. 4.Plant Germplasm and Genomics Center, Germplasm Bank of Wild SpeciesKunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of SciencesKunmingChina

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