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Intervascular Pit Membrane Structure in Daphne and Wikstroemia - Systematic Implications

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Intervascular pit membranes were investigated in species of Daphne, Wikstroemia, and other allied genera of the Thymelaeaceae. Results confirmed a previous study showing that, except for section Mezereum, all sections of Daphne had pit membranes with tori. Taxonomically isolated species D. aurantiaca and D. genkwa had tori, but lacked a G-layer. Tori similar in structure to those of D. aurantiaca and D. genkwa were observed in three species from the subgenus Diplomorpha of Wikstroemia. Tori of a slightly different morphology were noted in W. kudoi (subg. Daphnimorpha). Tori appeared absent from species of the subgenus Wikstroemia (= Euwikstroemia of Domke), and from the genera Drapetes, Edgeworthia, and Eriosolena. These results suggest a close relationship between Daphne and Wikstroemia. The degree of torus development and the distinctiveness of helical thickenings suggest that smaller tracheary elements serve as a backup water-conducting system to larger vessel elements.


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