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Byantara Darsan Purusatama and Nam Hun Kim


The characteristics of cross-field pitting among compression wood, lateral wood, and opposite wood, in the stem woods of Ginkgo biloba and Pinus densiflora were investigated with optical and scanning electron microscopy. In Ginkgo biloba, compression wood exhibited piceoid pits, while lateral and opposite wood exhibited cupressoid pits. The compression wood of Pinus densiflora exhibited cupressoid pits and piceoid pits, while lateral wood and opposite wood exhibited pinoid and window-like pits in the cross-field. In both species, compression wood yielded the smallest pit number among each part, while opposite wood yielded the greatest pit number per cross-field. Cross-field pitting diameters of compression wood and opposite wood were significantly smaller than lateral wood in Ginkgo biloba, while the cross-field pitting of compression wood was the smallest in Pinus densiflora. Radial tracheid diameter of compression wood was slightly smaller than lateral and opposite wood in Ginkgo biloba and significantly smaller than lateral and opposite wood in Pinus densiflora. In conclusion, the cross-field pitting type, pit number, and cross-field pitting diameter could be used to identify reaction wood in the stem wood of Ginkgo biloba and Pinus densiflora.

Ridwan Yahya, Yansen Yansen, Suyako Tazuru-Mizuno and Junji Sugiyama


Paper quality depends on fiber diameter and wall thickness, and their derivatives. Fiber deformation occurs due to pressure from the vessel during development. The diameter and wall thickness of the fibers were measured following the direction of pressure exerted by the vessel on the face of the fiber cells. Fiber cell diameter measured perpendicular to and parallel with vessel enlargement was referred to as radial and tangential diameter, respectively, and likewise for fiber wall thickness. Differences in radial and tangential diameter and wall thickness of fiber cells in relation to their distance from vessels were analyzed. The radial diameter of fibers adjacent to large vessels decreased from the first to the fifth fiber, and from the first to the second fiber adjacent to small vessels. Conversely, tangential fiber diameter increased from the first to the fifth fiber for fibers adjacent to large vessels, and from the first to the second fiber adjacent to small vessels. The fibers adjacent to the vessel seem to have thicker walls in both the tangential than radial directions up to 2 and 5 fibers for small and large vessels, respectively. The first two fibers adjacent to small diameter vessels may produce higher strength paper than those up to five fibers from large diameter vessels, because the Runkel ratio, Coefficient of rigidity and Muhlsteph ratio values of fibers adjacent to small vessels are lower than fibers adjacent to large vessels. The opposite occurs for flexibility coefficient values.

Anne Carolina and Dai Kusumoto


We aimed to explore the effects of different concentrations, in particular, high concentrations, of exogenously applied ethephon and methyl jasmonate on gum duct formation in three broad-leaved tree species, Cerasus × yedoensis, Prunus mume and Liquidambar styraciflua. Intact shoots were treated with ethephon and methyl jasmonate in lanolin paste at concentrations of 0.1%, 1%, 2%, 5%, and 10% (w/w). The ethephon treatments induced gum duct formation in the xylem adjacent to the cambium in all three species, whereas the methyl jasmonate treatments did not. The highest induction of gum duct formation was observed after 1–2% ethephon treatments in C. × yedoensis and P. mume, and after 5–10% ethephon treatments in L. styraciflua. Meanwhile, the treatments with higher ethephon concentrations resulted in a lower induction of gum duct formation in C. × yedoensis and P. mume. In addition, we examined gum duct formation at sites distant from the treatment sites in C. × yedoensis and P. mume shoots treated with 10% ethephon. Gum duct formation was found to be the highest at sites 2 cm away from the treatment site (in the acropetal direction). We show that at least in C. × yedoensis and P. mume, trees have an optimal concentration of ethephon to induce gum duct formation, and that concentrations higher than the optimum suppress the induction.

Flavio Ruffinatto, Gaetano Castro, Corrado Cremonini, Alan Crivellaro and Roberto Zanuttini


Wood identification has never been more important to serve the purpose of global forest protection, by controlling international illegal timber trade and enabling the enforcement of timber trade regulations. Macroscopic wood identification is the fastest method for the first identification of an unknown timber and, with proper training, it can be performed by operators in the timber industry, restorers and curators of cultural heritage, wood traders, designers, students and customs officers. Here we describe a wood atlas and accompanying software, SIR-Legno, developed for the identification of 48 Italian timber species based on a recently proposed list of macroscopic features for wood identification. For each species the atlas provides a complete macroscopic description plus information on natural durability, end-use class, physico-mechanical properties, conservation status, maximum diameter of the bole and most frequent uses. For each genus covered by the atlas, information about species number, CITES-listed species, main commercial timbers, similarly-named timbers from other genera, geographical distribution and notes on species or species group recognition at macroscopic and microscopic level are provided. SIR-Legno is an educational product, a handy identification key and a tool to search woods by their natural durability, end-use class and physico-mechanical properties. Both the atlas and the software can be freely downloaded from the web. Thanks to the adoption of a codified list of characters and a transferable design, SIR-Legno can be easily replicated or expanded to other databases in order to include new species. SIR-Legno is freeware and works on any version of Windows.

B. Cascales-Miñana, P. Gerrienne, B. Sirjacq and P. Steemans

Edited by Anne-Laure Decombeix


Most evolutionary innovations in plant vascular tissues, including secondary growth, occurred during the Devonian period (~420 to 360 million years ago). Such innovations had a major impact on land colonisation by plants and on their biodiversity. Here, we show the hydraulic conductance of the secondary xylem of three shrubby or arborescent plant fossils (a probably new genus of Cladoxylopsida, the archaeopteridalean genus Callixylon and the stenokolean genus Brabantophyton). Evidences come from the Ronquières fossil site (Belgium). This site is considered mid-late Givetian/earliest Frasnian in age. Results reveal that hydraulic conductivity of these early woody plants is more or less similar to that of modern gymnosperms, meaning that water transport was already as efficient in Devonian plants as it is in living plants. Our results further suggest that tracheids with features helping for optimised water transport were quickly selected in the evolutionary history of vascular plants.

D.W. Woodcock, H.W. Meyer and Y. Prado


This contribution presents descriptions of 14 fossil woods from the Piedra Chamana Fossil Forest in Peru, an assemblage of fossil woods and leaves dated at 39 Ma (late Middle Eocene). It is part two of the descriptions of the non-monocot angiosperm fossils from the site (see Woodcock et al. 2017). The woods are assigned to the subfamilies Bombacoideae, Bombacoideae/Malvoideae, Byttneroideae, Grewioideae, and Sterculioideae of Malvaceae and the families Melastomataceae, Muntingiaceae, Rubiaceae, Rutaceae, and Sapindaceae. Malvalean taxa make up around one-third of the wood types. Many of the woods are identifiable to modern-day genera or groups, including genera with species counted among the hyperdominant trees of the New World forests. Represented vegetation types include mixed freshwater swamp with Avicennia, seasonally flooded forest, and lowland tropical forest with a dry aspect. The assemblage shows floristic similarities to extant South American lowland tropical forest, particularly the seasonally flooded forests growing along white water rivers (várzea); however, the dry forest association has a less clear analog in the present-day tropics.

Maya A. Bickner and Alexandru M. F. Tomescu

Edited by Anne-Laure Decombeix


The Battery Point Formation of eastern Canada hosts an Emsian (c. 400–395 Ma) flora that marks one of the rare occurrences of anatomically-preserved Early Devonian plants. We describe four new euphyllophytes from small permineralized axes in this unit. Leptocentroxyla tetrarcha gen. et sp. nov. has a four-ribbed mesarch actinostele with Psilophyton-type (P-type) tracheids and a central area of scalariform tracheids. Stenoloboxyla ambigua gen. et sp. nov. has a bar-shaped to three-ribbed mesarch stele lacking central protoxylem, with one of the ribs less pronounced, P-type tracheids, and sclerenchyma forming a discontinuous layer in the cortex. Jowingera triloba gen. et sp. nov. has a three-ribbed mesarch actinostele with central protoxylem and P-type tracheids. Tainioxyla quebecana gen. et sp. nov. has bar-shaped xylem with mesarch protoxylem strands, P-type tracheids, and anatomy typical of cambial growth initiation. These new species raise the diversity of Battery Point Formation permineralized plants to nine genera, adding significantly to the diversity of Early Devonian plants characterized anatomically. The four species encompass structural diversity of unexpected breadth and novelty for their age. They are different from both older and coeval euphyllophytes and from younger euphyllophytes, exhibiting combinations of derived and plesiomorphic characters. Their mesarch actinosteles and barshaped protosteles, histological differentiation within metaxylem and cortex, and secondary growth, represent aspects of structural complexity common in more derived Middle-Late Devonian euphyllophytes. Concurrently, the four species share P-type tracheids typical of Early Devonian basal euphyllophytes with simpler anatomies. These new fossils offer a first glimpse of a plexus of plants representing a previously unsuspected stage of euphyllophyte morphoanatomical evolution. They demonstrate significant euphyllophyte diversification and exploration of structural complexity under way during the Early Devonian, against a background of plesiomorphic-type tracheids. When more completely characterized, these Emsian plants will provide links for resolving phylogenetic relationships at the base of the euphyllophyte clade.

Harry S. Paris

Pumpkins and squash, Cucurbita species, are valued horticultural products almost everywhere. They have been cultivated and subjected to consumer-oriented selection for thousands of years. Under this consumer orientation, they have been improved culinarily and diversified into the wonderful array of fruit sizes, shapes, and colors that are seen today. Besides their value as food items, pumpkins and squash are associated by people with abundance, warmth, sexuality, and life itself. My current objective is to provide a succinct perspective on the process of consumer-oriented exploitation of pumpkin and squash genetic resources. I briefly review the etymology, taxonomy and gross morphology of Cucurbita plants. A view is presented of how gathering, nurturing, domestication and cultivation of Cucurbita, species-specific and consumer-driven, maintained some of the parallels among species but also magnified the phenotypic differences among them. At greater length are considered the differences in resource allocation required for the preferential consumer-driven production of mature versus young fruits. Environmental effects, abiotic and biotic, are briefly mentioned, as are some of the potential benefits of biotechnology, genetic engineering, mapping, genomics, and gene editing as cognates for breeding. Finally, I consider the processes and needs for collection, maintenance, characterization, and availability of Cucurbita genetic resources and the dangers imposed by under-informed administrators in academia and cavalier governmental regulatory statutes toward future consumer-oriented improvement of pumpkins and squash.

Einav Mayzlish-Gati, Margareta Walczak, Alon Singer, Tomer Faraj, Sivan Golan, Dikla Lifshitz, Dana Bar, Yair Ur, Dafna Carmeli, Ran Lotan, Ofra Fridman, Alma Daniel, Yael Sade, Avi Perevolotsky, Rivka Hadas and Oz Barazani

Israel is a geographically small and relatively new state (founded in 1948) with high population density, industrial development and economic growth, all of which negatively affect the environment, particularly biodiversity. There is, however, a growing awareness in the country of the need for environmental and biodiversity protection. The Israel Nature and Parks Authority (INPA), the official body legally responsible for protecting natural habitats, biodiversity and ecosystems in Israel, established a program to protect and conserve the endangered, near-threatened and very rare (ENtR) plants listed in the Israel Red Data Book of flora at risk. In this communication, we describe the ex-situ conservation strategies of the Israel Gene Bank (IGB) within this program. The IGB has expanded its role in the conservation of ENtR species from only ex-situ seed conservation to active involvement in whole-plant conservation and reintroducing ENtR species back into nature. In the past 10 years, 1289 accessions belonging to 68% of the species in the Red List were collected to form the IGB core collection of endangered and rare species. The germination unit of the IGB developed 198 new protocols and propagated 87 different ENtR species.

Oz Barazani, Nir Hanin, Prabodh Kumar Bajpai, Yoni Waitz, Michal Barzilai, Alexandra Keren-Keiserman, Tomer Faraj, Einav Mayzlish-Gati, Erik Westberg and Jotham Ziffer-Berger

The winter annuals Brassica tournefortii and Raphanus raphanistrum (Brassicaceae) share similar habitats and life-history traits, but differ in their reproduction system (self-compatibility vs. self-incompatibility, respectively). The two phylogenetically close species offer means to assess the effect of reproductive biology on genetic diversity between and within populations. In general, genetic diversity between populations of B. tournefortii was higher than that found between populations of R. raphanistrum, while higher genetic diversity indices were evident within populations of R. raphanistrum. In addition, the results of pairwise genetic distances indicated that the genetic distances between populations can be associated to the species’ reproductive biology and not to the population’s distribution pattern. We discuss whether knowledge of reproductive and habitat characteristics can be used to predict genetic diversity when planning sampling scheme for ex situ conservation.