Multilayered structure of tension wood cell walls in Salicaceae sensu lato and its taxonomic significance

Abstract : The circumscription of Salicaceae has recently been enlarged to include a majority of the species formerly placed in the polyphyletic tropical family Flacourtiaceae. Several studies have reported a peculiar and infrequently formed multilayered structure of tension wood in four of the tropical genera. Tension wood is a tissue produced by trees to restore their vertical orientation, and most studies have focused on trees developing tension wood by means of cellulose-rich, gelatinous fibres, as is known in Populus L. and Salix L. (Salicaceae s.s.). This study aims to determine if the multilayered structure of tension wood is an anatomical characteristic common in other Salicaceae, and if so, how its distribution correlates to phylogenetic relationships. Therefore, we studied the tension wood of 14 genera of Salicaceae as well as two genera of Achariaceae, one genus of Goupiaceae, and one genus of Lacistemataceae, families closely related to Salicaceae or formerly placed in Flacourtiaceae. Opposite wood and tension wood were compared with light microscopy and 3D Laser Scanning Confocal Microscopy. The results indicate that a multilayered structure of tension wood is common in the family except in Salix, Populus, and one of their closest relatives, Idesia polycarpa Maxim. We suggest that tension wood may be a useful anatomical character in understanding phylogenetic relationships in Salicaceae. Further investigation is still needed on the tension wood of several other putatively close relatives of Salix and Populus, in particular Bennettiodendron Merr., Macrohasseltia L.O.Williams and Itoa Hemsl.
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Barbara Ghislain, Eric-André Nicolini, Raïssa Romain, Julien Ruelle, Arata Yoshinaga, et al.. Multilayered structure of tension wood cell walls in Salicaceae sensu lato and its taxonomic significance. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, Linnean Society of London, 2016, ⟨10.1111/boj.12471⟩. ⟨hal-01392845⟩

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