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Salpichlaena J. Sm. (Blechnaceae) is a genus of climbing fern that grows in Central and South America. The number of species recognized for this genus varies according to different authors from one to four. The goal of this work was to provide a systematic revision of the genus Salpichlaena in order to contribute to the knowledge of the fern biodiversity in America. For this purpose morphological, anatomical and palynological characters were analyzed in material from the geographical distribution of Salpichlaena. Herbarium specimens were treated according to the standard techniques for LM and SEM studies. The type specimens and the original descriptions were consulted to determine the applications of names. Two species are recognized, S. volubilis (Kaulf.) J. Sm. and S. hookeriana (Kuntze) Alston. Salpichlaena hookeriana differs from S. volubilis by pronounced foliar dimorphism (the fertile pinnules are much reduced), the presence of foliar buds on sterile basal pinnules, ovate costular scales and the presence of glandular hairs on the abaxial surface of the costa. The spores are monolete in both taxa, with rugulate-granulate perispore and superficial spherules. Salpichlaena volubilis is widely distributed in Central and South America, from Guatemala and Caribbean Islands, up to southern Brazil and Bolivia, across a wide altitudinal range of 200 to 1900 m. Salpichlaena hookeriana grows from Colombia, Venezuelan Guyana, Suriname, British Guiana, North Brazil to Peru and Bolivia, at altitudes up to 800 m. The diagnostic characters, illustrations and distribution maps of both species are given.
The morphology of the tracheary elements of the climbing fern Salpichlaena (Blechnaceae) were analyzed by means of LM and SEM. Two preparative techniques were employed: maceration and sectioning. Under SEM macerated tracheary elements from roots, rhizomes and leaf rachises showed large scalariform perforations lacking pit membranes, thus constituting apparent perforation plates. The perforations showed terminal as well as lateral positions. “Multiple end-wall” and “intermittent” perforation plates were also observed. In sectioned material tracheary cells exhibited mostly intact pit membranes conforming tracheids with scalariform and circular to oval wall pitting. In roots, true perforations seemed to be present in some tracheary cells. A different degree of pit membrane perforations were registered in both macerated and sectioned material, thus suggesting the existence of “incipient vessel elements”. According to our observations macerations produce alterations in the xylem tissue, which can lead to misinterpretations.
This study was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of salvinia (Salvinia minima) in accumulating nitrogen and phosphorus under different imitating eutrophic environments. Nitrogen concentrations of 1.0 (control), 10.0, and 100 mg/l and phosphorus concentrations of 0.1 (control), 1.0, and 10.0 mg/l were used in this study. Plants were grown under laboratory conditions at 25 ± 2°C with a light intensity of 120 μmol/m2/s, and a 14 hr photoperiod. Salvinia's growth, expressed as frond production and plant fresh weight doubling time, was significantly increased with increasing nitrogen concentration from 1.0 mg/l to 100.0 mg/l in the growth media. The increase in growth rate was independent from the variation in phosphorus concentrations. However, the highest growth rate was obtained for days 1 through 7 when the levels of both nitrogen and phosphorus were elevated 100 fold (100 mg/l N and 10.0 mg/l P) from that of control treatments. This treatment also resulted in the highest photosynthetic rate, chlorophyll α and b content, carotenoids and anthocyanins concentrations. Nitrogen and phosphorus concentration did not influence soluble sugar (SS) accumulation. Starch and total-nonstructural carbohydrate (TNC) accumulation was significantly lower in treatments receiving elevated levels of nitrogen or phosphorus when compared to the control. The highest uptake of nitrogen and phosphorus into plant tissues resulted when both nutrients were elevated 100 fold (100 mg/l N and 10.0 mg/l P) and were higher at day 14.
Gametophyte morphology and development of seven species of Cyatheacae in China are described. The spores of the seven species are of typical shape (trilete, tetrahedral) and they exhibit Cyathea-type germination. The gametophytes undergo Adiantum-type development with occasional Drynaria-type development. Filaments are usually 2–3 cells long. The normal adult prothalli are cordate and thalloid with prominent cushions in the middle of the two wings. Prothalli are usually bisexual and antheridia form earlier than archegonia. Lingulate, strap-like and branched prothalli easily grow on the crowded improved Knop's agar media, which produce notches late and produce more antheridia. In distilled water, filamentous prothalli only produce antheridia. The shapes of the mature prothalli of Sphaeropteris brunoniana and Alsophila austro-yunnanensis are distinct among seven species. Multicellular chlorophyllous hairs appear on dorsal or ventral surfaces in the archegonial region near the notch when the prothallus matures, and the hairs are scaly when they get old. Hairs of the prothallus are like those on the juvenile sporophyte fronds. Vegetative proliferations of old protahlli have been observed.
During preparation of the account of Bolbitidaceae for the flora of China, it was noticed that a species name used in some earlier treatments (Bolbitis yunnanensis Ching) is based on an illegitimate combination. A new name for it is proposed: Bolbitis ×multipinna F. G. Wang, K. Iwats. & F. W. Xing.
Pteris vittata, commonly known as ‘Brake Fern’, is a relatively uninvestigated species as far as antimicrobial activity is concerned. Different aqueous methanolic (70, 80, and 90%) extracts of P. vittata were tested for the growth of eight intestinal microorganisms, by using disc diffusion and micro-dilution methods as recommended by NCCLS. The 70% aqueous methanolic extract showed potent activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Klebsiella pneumoniae. Total phenol content of the plant showed a substantial amount of phenols (0.97%); in addition the flavonoid rutin was identified by HPLC and MS. The present investigation is the first biological report in fern species P. vittata ascertaining the antimicrobial activity; the antimicrobial activity of rutin against the above microorganisms has also been shown.
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