The editorial board of Journal of Systematics and Evolution (JSE) has recently announced the winners of two JSE Outstanding Papers and two JSE Outstanding Papers by Young Investigators (2017).
The paper entitled “Neo‐ and paleopolyploidy contribute to the species diversity of Asplenium—the most species‐rich genus of ferns” by Prof. Harald Schneider of Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) and his collaborators is one of the two JSE Outstanding Papers for 2017.
In the study, Prof. Harald Schneider and his collaborators tested four predictions that are based on the working hypothesis that polyploids experience a higher extinction risk compared with their diploid ancestors.
They explored the evolution of polyploidy in the derived fern family Aspleniaceae that has a global distribution and the highest frequency of polyploids among all ferns. Based on a newly established phylogenetic tree and the mapping of all published chromosome counts on the tree, the authors found that phylogenetic relationships of polyploids exceeded the tetraploid level, suggesting that tetraploid Asplenium species might have replaced their diploid ancestors as the main evolutionary players in some lineages of this family.
The JSE established Awards of JSE Outstanding Papers in 2014 as one of the strategies to improve the quality of JSE in the coming years. Since 2018, the awards have been made yearly to recognize some of the most significant research published in JSE. The awards consist of two JSE Outstanding Papers and two JSE Outstanding Papers by Young Investigators, which are voted for by the board of JSE editors.
JSE Outstanding Papers for 2017:
Soreng et al. 2017. A worldwide phylogenetic classification of the Poaceae (Gramineae) II: An update and a comparison of two 2015 classifications.
The family Poaceae (grasses), one of the largest families in angiosperms, is of great economic and ecological significance. Robert J. Soreng and Paul M. Peterson at National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, USA, and their collaborators contributed an excellent paper in JSE (Soreng et al., 2015), which presented a worldwide phylogenetic classification of the grass family based on molecular and morphological studies and has been cited over 180 times since then. In this updated review, Soreng et al. (2017) presented a revised worldwide phylogenetic classification of grasses, including 12 subfamilies, 52 tribes, 11 506 species in 768 genera. By including a radial tree illustrating the hierarchical relationships among the subtribes, tribes, and subfamilies, they updated the classification incorporating new studies reported since 2015. This study provides an insightful summary that may facilitate future research on this important group of species.
Schneider et al. 2017. Neo‐ and paleopolyploidy contribute to the species diversity ofAsplenium—the most species‐rich genus of ferns.
This study, led by Harald Schneider at the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China, and his collaborators, tested four predictions that are based on the working hypothesis that polyploids experience a higher extinction risk compared with their diploid ancestors. They explored the evolution of polyploidy in the derived fern family Aspleniaceae that has a global distribution and the highest frequency of polyploids among all ferns. Based on a newly established phylogenetic tree and the mapping of all published chromosome counts on the tree, the authors found that phylogenetic relationships of polyploids exceeded the tetraploid level, suggesting that tetraploid Asplenium species might have replaced their diploid ancestors as the main evolutionary players in some lineages of this family. As the authors acknowledged, however, the present results did not provide unambiguous support for the prediction of recurrent formation of neopolyploidy as the main process of polyploidy accumulation in Aspleniaceae, and did not confirm the expectation of a high extinction risk of polyploids compared to the diploid relatives. The process and mechanism of the accumulation of polyploidy species diversity still remains an open question.
JSE Outstanding Papers by Young Investigators for 2017:
Harris et al. 2017. A molecular phylogeny of Staphyleaceae: Implications for generic delimitation and classical biogeographic disjunctions in the family.
Staphyleaceae traditionally comprised three genera of temperate and tropical trees and shrubs that were delimited by morphology. However, a recently published classification based on limited molecular evidence provided an alternative treatment. This study, led by Jun Wen at National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, USA, and her collaborators, reconstructed a molecular phylogeny based on sequences of six chloroplast and two nuclear genes and revealed five major clades for the family. In combination with the examinations on morphological features of Staphyleaceae including those presented in the present and prior studies, they found that some of the features were either uninformative (i.e., pollen) or limited informative (i.e., leaf teeth, epicuticular waxes, flower size) taxonomically. They also discussed the implications of their phylogenetic and morphological results on generic delimitation and intercontinental biogeography of the family.
Spoelhof et al. 2017. Pure polyploidy: Closing the gaps in autopolyploid research.
Autopolyploidy is a common evolutionary phenomenon but our understanding of it has long lagged behind that of allopolyploidy due to the lack of investigations on central facets of autopolyploid evolution. One of the controversial topics is whether autopolyploidy is infrequent and inconsequential in comparison to allopolyploidy. This review paper by Jonathan Spoelhof, Pamela Soltis and Douglas Soltis at University of Florida, USA, summarized recent studies on the formation and establishment of autopolyploids, the ecological differences between autopolyploids and their progenitors, and key genomic differences between auto‐ and allopolyploids. By highlighting the key advances of this field, the authors discussed the implications of these and other recent findings, presented promising systems for future research, and advocated for expanded research in diverse areas of autopolyploid evolution.
As represented by the above contributions, JSE has published high‐quality papers across the breadth of systematics and evolution. In recent years, JSE has grown steadily in terms of the quality of publications and their academic influence. The latest ISI impact factor of JSE has reached to a value of 3.657, placing the journal to be the 26th out of 222 Plant Sciences Category journals that are included in the ISI database. This increase in impact factor is attributable to the continuous efforts and support of our authors, reviewers, editors, and our publisher, Wiley. We deeply appreciate your support and cordially invite the many colleagues in systematics and evolution to submit their first‐rate research papers to JSE.