Mar 1, 2008

Todea from the Lower Cretaceous of western North America: implications for the phylogeny, systematics, and evolution of modern Osmundaceae

American Journal of Botany
Nathan A JudRuth A Stockey


The first fossil evidence for the fern genus Todea has been recovered from the Lower Cretaceous of British Columbia, Canada, providing paleontological data to strengthen hypotheses regarding patterns of evolution and phylogeny within Osmundaceae. The fossil consists of a branching rhizome, adventitious roots, and leaf bases. The dictyoxylic stem has up to eight xylem bundles around a sclerenchymatous pith. Leaf traces diverge from cauline bundles in a typical osmundaceous pattern and leaf bases display a sheath of sclerenchyma around a C-shaped xylem trace with 2-8 protoxylem strands. Within the adaxial concavity of each leaf trace, a single sclerenchyma bundle becomes C-shaped as it enters the cortex. The sclerotic cortex is heterogeneous with an indistinct outer margin. The discovery of Todea tidwellii sp. nov. reveals that the genus Todea evolved by the Lower Cretaceous. A phylogenetic analysis combining morphological characters of living and extinct species with a previously published nucleotide sequence matrix confirms the taxonomic placement of T. tidwellii. Results also support the hypothesis that Osmunda s.l. represents a paraphyletic assemblage and that living species be segregated into two genera, Osmunda and Osmundas...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Cortex Bone Disorders
Adrenal Cortex Diseases
Foreskin of Penis
Pith - plant part
Base Sequence
Cortex of Organ
Cerebral Cortex

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