The economically important grape family Vitaceae has a worldwide distribution and contains ~ 900 species in 14 genera. Vitaceae has emerged as an ideal model to better understand the evolution of temperate-tropical biogeographic disjunctions in plants with five distinct clades showing a transition from tropical to temperate climate. In particular the well-supported Vitis-Ampelocissus-Nothocissus-Pterisanthes clade poses some important unresolved taxonomic, phylogenetic and biogeographic questions and offers an excellent model for 21st century monographic studies integrating extensive field work in the tropics, collections based museum studies, anatomical and morphological studies based on living collections, extensive molecular and genomic approaches (using genomic HybSeqdata), with cutting-edge informatics tools (cyber-monographs) to interactively collaborate with colleagues, and to allow visualization and dissemination of the results to broad audiences via the www (in collaboration with Jun Wen, Smithsonian Institution).
Jean Gerrath and Usher Posluszny busy working on figuring out yet another vitaceous inflorescence at the University of Guelph.
During my Senior Fellowship and as a Research Associate at the Smithsonian, I completed a study on the difficult problem of systematic placement of Vitaceae focusing on gynoecial morphology and inflorescence development in Pterisanthes together with University of Guelph’s Jean Gerrath and Usher Posluszny, as well as character evolution in relation to transitions from temperate to tropical climate. In addition we have also completed several important studies on resolving some of the more recalcitrant nodes of the Vitaceae using transcriptome data, as well as resolving the phylogeny of Cissus and the Vitis-Ampelocissus-Pterisanthes-Nothocissus clade.
Ma, Z.-Y., Wen, J., Ickert-Bond, S.M., Chen, Q., Liu, X.-Q. 2016. Morphology, structure and ontogeny of trichomes of the grape genus (Vitis, Vitaceae). Frontiers in Plant Science. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2016.00704 [Link]
Liu, X.-Q., S.M. Ickert-Bond, Z.-L. Nie, L-Q. Chen, and J. Wen. 2016. Phylogeny of the Vitis-Amplocissus-Pterisanthes-Nothocissus clade in Vitaceae supports the New World origin of the grape genus Vitis. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 95: 217-228. [Link]
Ickert-Bond, S.M., J.M. Gerrath, U. Posluszny, and J. Wen. 2015. The lamellate inflorescence of Pterisanthes (Vitaceae): development confirms the vitaceous Bauplan. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 179(4): 725-741. [Link]
Ickert-Bond, S.M., J.M. Gerrath, and J. Wen. 2014. Gynoecial structure of Vitaceae and Leeaceae and implications for placentation evolution in the rosids. International Journal of Plant Sciences 175: 998-1032. [Link]
Wen, J., Z. Xiong, Z. Nie, L. Mao, Y. Zhu, Y-Z. Kan, S.M. Ickert-Bond, J. Gerrath, E.A. Zimmer, and Y. Fang. 2013. Transcriptome sequences resolve deep relationships of the grape family. PLoS ONE 8(9): e74394. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0074394. [Link]
Liu, X.-Q., S. M. Ickert-Bond, Chen, L.-Q. and J. Wen. 2013. Molecular phylogeny of Cissus L. of Vitaceae (the grape family) and evolution of its pantropical intercontinental disjunctions. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 66: 43-53. [Link]