Diversity of non-glandular trichomes in subtribe Lychnophorinae (Asteraceae: Vernonieae) and taxonomic implications


Vernonieae is one of the major tribes in Asteraceae (subfamily Cichorioideae) with ca. 1,100 species placed into 129 genera. Currently, 21 subtribes are recognized in Vernonieae and one of them is Lychnophorinae, almost entirely endemic to Brazil, containing 11 genera and ca. 100 species. About 42 % of Lychnophorinae genera are monophyletic, reflecting the poorly understood relationships among the members of the group. Trichomes are one of the most useful anatomical characters to be used in angiosperm taxonomy; they are diverse, exist in many taxa and are not difficult to study. This work intends to illustrate non-glandular leaf trichome diversity in Lychnophorinae and discuss this diversity in the light of the subtribe’s taxonomy. Sampled material included 67 species of 11 genera. Macerations and free hand sections were performed to be analyzed in the light microscope and photographed. A phenogram was generated using a matrix with 67 terminals (species) and 18 characters coded as binary. The subtribe Lychnophorinae displays a great diversity of non-glandular trichomes (5 types and 18 subtypes). The present study reveals the great diversity of non-glandular trichomes in Lychnophorinae. While trichome complement is of little use to distinguish genera, it appears to be a valuable characteristic at a lower taxonomic level to identify closely morphologically related species.

Plant Syst. Evol.