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The growth pattern of shoots in Whytockia (Gesneriaceae) with phylogenetic implications

WANG Yin Zheng (Institute of Botany, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093)  
The morphogenesis of shoots in Whytockia W.W.Smith was investigated in order to reveal its growth pattern. The shoot in Whytockia has lost apical growth, which is contrary to the present knowledge about its growth pattern. Its stem is in fact a lateral branch system formed by sprouting of lateral buds in axils of small leaves substituting for the thoroughly restrained phyllogens. The unbranched stem of the genus is due to the restrained state of axillary buds in axils of large leaves. This so called simple stem is secondary in phylogeny rather than relict in Epithemateae. According to the revealed growth pattern of the shoot in Whytockia, the present paper discusses the phylogenetic relationships between Whytockia and Loxonia, Monophyllaea and Rhynchoglossum in Epithemateae.
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