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J Plant Res. 2015 Mar;128(2):239-47. doi: 10.1007/s10265-014-0689-0. Epub 2014 Dec 14.

Arundina graminifolia var. revoluta (Arethuseae, Orchidaceae) has fern-type rheophyte characteristics in the leaves.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113-0033, Japan.


Morphological and molecular variation between Arundina graminifolia var. graminifolia and the dwarf variety, A. graminifolia var. revoluta, was examined to assess the validity of their taxonomic characteristics and genetic background for identification. Morphological analysis in combination with field observations indicated that A. graminifolia var. revoluta is a rheophyte form of A. graminifolia characterized by narrow leaves, whereas the other morphological characteristics described for A. graminifolia var. revoluta, such as smaller flowers and short stems, were not always accompanied by the narrower leaf phenotype. Molecular analysis based on matK sequences indicated that only partial differentiation has occurred between A. graminifolia var. graminifolia and A. graminifolia var. revoluta. Therefore, we should consider the rheophyte form an ecotype rather than a variety. Anatomical observations of the leaves revealed that the rheophyte form of A. graminifolia possessed characteristics of the rheophytes of both ferns and angiosperms, such as narrower palisade tissue cells and thinner spongy tissue cells, as well as fewer cells in the leaf-width direction and fewer mesophyll cell layers.

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