New paper: Demographic history of three Zamia species

In our latest paper, using morphological, genetic and environmental data, we evaluated the demographic history and the species delimitation of Zamia loddigesii, Z. splendens and Z. katzeriana. Previously, Z. katzeriana was thought to be originated from events of hybridization between the other two species. Here, we found that it was not the case: Z. katzeriana is a taxonomically well-delimited species that was not originated from hybridization. Also, we report and discuss for the first time a case of hybridization in cycads between Z. loddigesii and Z. splendens.

How to cite:

Gutiérrez-Ortega J.S., Pérez-Farrera M.A., López S., Vovides A. 2023. Demographic history and species delimitation of three Zamia species (Zamiaceae) in south-eastern Mexico: Z. katzeriana is not a product of hybridization. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society


New article: Origin of an allotetraploid fern

In a recent paper, we studied the tetraploid species Lepisorus yamaokae from Japan. Using phylogenetic analyses, we identified that it was most likely originated from the hybridization two diploid species: L. annuifrons and L. uchiyamae. Ecological niche model analyses suggest that the parental species had chances to hybridize during the Last Glacial Maximum, and that currently, L. yamaokae presents niche conservatism in respect of L. uchiyamae, suggesting that, contrary than the expected, hybrids may occupy similar niche to one of their parental species.

You can find our the paper in American Journal of Botany:

How to cite:

Fujiwara T, Egashira T, Gutiérrez-Ortega JS, Hori K, Ebihara A, Watano Y. Establishment of an allotetraploid fern species, Lepisorus yamaokae Seriz., between two highly niche-differentiated parental species. Am J Bot. 2022 Aug 8. doi: 10.1002/ajb2.16043.

New species description: Ceratozamia schiblii

The description of a new cycad species from Oaxaca, Mexico, was published: Ceratozamia schiblii. The new species is part of the Ceratozamia robusta species complex, and it can distinguished by having brown leaflets in emerging leaves, very long peduncles in seed cones, the green color of mature pollen cones, and one of the highest number (around 40) of leaflet pairs in the genus.

The article is Open Access here:

And it can be also downloaded here:

New species description: Dioon salas-moralesiae

A new cycad species from Mexico was described: Dioon salas-moralesiae. The new species represents one lineage that was previously considered part of the circumscription of D. merolae.

The article can be read in Phytotaxa:


Gutiérrez-Ortega, J. S., Pérez-Farrera, M. A., Chemnick, J., & Gregory, T. J. (2021). A reassessment of Dioon merolae (Zamiaceae) leads to the description of Dioon salas-moralesae, a new cycad species from Southeastern Oaxaca, Mexico. Phytotaxa528(2), 93-110.

The epithet was modified from Dioon salas-moralesae to Dioon salas-moralesiae by the World List of Cycads:

A new species description: Ceratozamia dominguezii

We recently published the description of a new cycad species from Mexico: Ceratozamia dominguezii. This species is part of the C. robusta species complex, lives in Uxpanapa, southeastern Veracruz, Mexico, and it is distinguishable by having the longest rachides and the widest separation of leaflets along the rachis in the complex. Also, the cones have a dark-violet color in the distal faces of the sporophylls, unique in the genus.

The description of C. dominguezii contributes to understanding the actual cycad diversity in Mexico, and clarifies the role of the climatic refugia (the Uxpanapa region, in this case) in the diversification of tropical plants in Mexico.

The article can be found here:

Or it can be downloaded here:

New species description: Ceratozamia aurantiaca

We recently published the description of a new cycad species from northern Oaxaca, Mexico: Ceratozamia aurantiaca.

The new species is closely related to C. robusta and C. subroseophylla, but as the epithet suggests, the new species can be easily distinguished by the emerging leaves of orange color.

The recognition of this species elevates the number of species in the genus Ceratozamia to 34.

This article can be found in Taxonomy

How to cite: 

Pérez-Farrera M.A., Gutiérrez-Ortega J.S., Haynes J.L., Chemnick J., Salas-Morales S.H., Calonje M., Vovides A.P. 2021. Ceratozamia aurantiaca (Zamiaceae): A new cycad species from the northern rainforests of Oaxaca, Mexico. Taxonomy 1(3): 243-255.

It can also be downloaded here:

New cycad species description: Ceratozamia sancheziae

We recently published the description of a new cycad species from Chiapas Highlands, Mexico: Ceratozamia sancheizae.

This new species lives at high altitudes (>1500 masl), has partially subterranean trunks, arched leaves with thin petioles sparsely armed with thin prickles, oblanceolate leaflets in juveniles, and linear lanceolate or falcate in adults.

This article can be found in Phytotaxa:

How to cite:

Gutiérrez-Ortega J.S., Pérez-Farrera M.A., Vovides A.P., Chávez-Cortázar A., López S., Santos-Hernández N.G., Ruíz-Roblero S.K. 2021. Ceratozamia sanchezae (Zamiaceae): a new cycad species from Chiapas Highlands (Mexico). Phytotaxa 500 (3):201-216.

The epithet was modified from Ceratozamia sanchezae to Ceratozamia sancheziae by the World List of Cycads:

New article: Evolutionary history of Dioon sonorense-D. vovidesii

I am very happy for the publication of our new article entitled “Speciation along a latitudinal gradient: The origin of the Neotropical cycad sister pair Dioon sonorense–D. vovidesii (Zamiaceae)” in the journal Ecology and Evolution.

In this study, we evaluated the history of lineage divergence between two sister species from North-western Mexico: Dioon sonorense and D. vovidesii. We used population genetics and ecological niche models to identify the demographic and environmental factors involved in speciation. This study demonstrate that the speciation within this species group includes a genetic component that is influenced by disparate genetic drift and natural selection, and an geographic/ecological component that has an additive factor associated with speciation.

How to cite:

Gutiérrez-Ortega J.S., Martínez J.F., Molina-Freaner F., Pérez-Farrera M.A., Vovides A.P., Hernández-López A., Tezuka A., Nagano A.J., Watano Y., Takahashi Y., Murakami M. Kajita T. 2021. Speciation along a latitudinal gradient: The origin of the Neotropical cycad sister pair Dioon sonorense-D. vovidesii (Zamiaceae). Ecology and Evolution. DOI: 10.1002/ece3.7545

Open Access!

You can find our manuscript here:

Or download it here:

Participation in iTHEMS seminars, RIKEN

On March 25th, 2021, I had the great pleasure to participate in the iTHEMS seminars on Biology, RIKEN. RIKEN is famous for their top researchers, and for their interdisciplinary team, in which many members don’t have any experience on biological research. Thus, it was very challenging to explain my research to a broad public of brilliant scientists of other disciplines.

Further details here: