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Scientists at National Taiwan University detail research in botany


  2009 SEP 15 - (VerticalNews.com) -- According to a study from Taipei, Taiwan, "Subwassertang, a popular aquatic plant that is sold worldwide in aquarium markets, has been long considered a liverwort because of its ribbon-like thallus. However, its antheridia are remarkably fern-like in morphology."

  "To corroborate the hypothesis that Subwassertang is a fern gametophyte and to determine its closest relative, we have sequenced five chloroplast regions (rbcL, accD, rps4-trnS, trnL intron, and trnL-F intergenic spacer), applying a DNA-based identification approach. The BLAST results on all regions revealed that Subwassertang is a polypod fern (order: Polypodiales) with strong affinities to the Lomariopsidaceae. Our phylogenetic analyses further showed that Subwassertang is nested within the hemi-epiphytic fern genus Lomariopsis (Lomariopsidaceae) and aligned very close to L. lineata. Our study brings new insights on the unexpected biology of Lomariopsis gametophytes-the capacity of retaining a prolonged gametophytic stage under water," wrote F.W. Li and colleagues, National Taiwan University.

  The researchers concluded: "It is of great interest to discover that a fern usually known to grow on trees also has gametophytes that thrive in water.."

  Li and colleagues published the results of their research in Plant Systematics and Evolution (Identifying a mysterious aquatic fern gametophyte. Plant Systematics and Evolution, 2009;281(1-4):77-86).

  For additional information, contact F.W. Li, National Taiwan University, Dept. of Life Science, Taipei 106, Taiwan.

  The publisher of the journal Plant Systematics and Evolution can be contacted at: Springer Wien, Sachsenplatz 4-6, PO Box 89, A-1201 Wien, Austria.

  Keywords: Asia, Taiwan, Botany, National Taiwan University.

  This article was prepared by VerticalNews India editors from staff and other reports. Copyright 2009, VerticalNews India via VerticalNews.com.

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