[ News ]
"That's it." After working on the project for more than six years, Dr. Miller completed the essays on the origin of flowering plants, November 11, 2011.
A "Publication of the Year" will be selected and posted to Gigantopteroid Dot Org annually. I will continue posting newsworthy items, repairing broken links, and updating the "Reading List of Book Chapters and Books" based on my current research.
The massif pictured to the right is Cerro Providencia (Pichaco del Diablo) as viewed from the crest of the Sierra San Pedro Mártir. Snow is visible in the foreground under sparse stands of Abies concolor (white fir), Pinus jeffreyi (Jeffrey pine), and Pinus lambertiana (sugar pine).
The "Mountain of Providence" or "Devil's Pichaco" is the detached and uplifted 3,000 meter high grano-diorite and tonalite block of the Peninsular Mountains of westernmost North America.
Palynological Evidence of Flowering Plants from the Middle Triassic (Anisian) More Than 240 MYA (October 2013):
Yet another important study of pollen samples recovered from deep well cores reports Afropollis and monosulcate, columellate pollen from the Middle Triassic Period.
Hochuli, P. A. and S. Feist-Burkhardt. 2013. Angiosperm-like pollen and Afropollis from the Middle Triassic (Anisian) of the Germanic Basin (Northern Switzerland). Frontiers in Plant Science 4: Article 344.
This study adds considerable weight to earlier work by these same authors (Hochuli and Feist-Burkhardt 2004), and to data reported by Bruce Cornet in the 1980s suggesting a 100 million year old ghost lineage of enigmatic stem group angiosperms.
Hochuli, P. A. and S. Feist-Burkhardt. 2004. A boreal early cradle of angiosperms? Angiosperm-like pollen from the Middle Triassic of the Barents Sea (Norway). Journal of Micropalaeontology 23: 97-104.
"Whereas some authors considered it [Sanmiguelia] as an angiosperm [Brown 1956; Cornet 1986, 1989a] others suggested an attribution to ginkgophytes and rejected a possible relation to angiosperms [Crane 1987, Doyle and Donoghue 1993]" (Discussion-Cretaceous and Pre-cretaceous Records, Hochuli and Feist-Burkhardt 2013).
In 1985, Peter Crane presented an interesting idea namely, that some populations of late Paleozoic Vojnovskyales might have survived the end-Permian extinction reappearing in the Triassic rock record as the seed plant Sanmiguelia.
"The male structures [of Sanmiguelia] appear to be strobili with sessile pairs of pollen sacs, more reminiscent of ginkgophytes than angiosperms, and the smooth monosulcate pollen has no angiosperm features" (page 319, J. A. Doyle 2012).
Doyle, J. A. 2012. Molecular and fossil evidence on the origin of angiosperms. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences 40: 301–326.
Are certain Permo-carboniferous Ginkgoales and Vojnovskyales paraphyletic gymnosperm clades tied-in with Triassic sanmiguelias and possible stem group angiosperms?
Evidence of Paleopolyploidy in Conifers: Preadaptation to Climate of the Early Triassic Hot House? (October 2013):
Volume 280, Number 1768 of the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B, Biological Sciences (2013) publishes data on a Classopollis myerianus palynofloral zone of the Whitmore Point Member of the Triassic Moenave Formation of southwestern North America.
Kürschner, W. M., S. J. Batenburg, and L. Mander. 2013. Aberrant Classopollis pollen reveals evidence for unreduced (2n) pollen in the conifer family Cheirolepidiaceae during the Triassic-Jurassic transition. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B, Biological Sciences 280(1768): 20131708.
Cheirolepidiaceae were abundant and morphologically diverse Araucaria- or Cupressus-like shrubs and trees indigenous to forests of Triassic Pangaea, which were dispersed as the supercontinent split following the eruption of the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP) to Gondwanan and Laurasian places of later Jurassic and Cretaceous times. Classopollis (unique conifer pollen with angiosperm-like exine and tectate columellae) were shed from cones of male plants and dispersed by wind to fleshy bitegmic ovules on cone scales of mother shrubs and trees, which were indigenous to coastal terrestrial habitats (pages 831-838, T. N. Taylor et al. 2009).
Detailed paleobiological studies by Wolfram Kürschner et al. (2013) constitute the first report of unreduced gamete formation (inferred from light microscopic study of dispersed pollen) in a vascular plant, which dovetails with molecular-phylogenetic modeling by Jiao et al. (2011) documenting a swarm of whole genome duplications (WGDs) in seed plants, about 192 MYA:
Jiao, Y., N. L. Wickett, S. Ayyampalayam, A. S. Chanderbali, L. Landherr, P. E. Ralph, L. P. Tomsho, Y. Hu, H. Liang, P. S. Soltis, D. E. Soltis, S. W. Clifton, S. E. Schlarbaum, S. C. Schuster, H. Ma, J. Leebens-Mack, and C. W. dePamphilis. 2011. Ancestral polyploidy in seed plants and angiosperms. Nature 473(7345): 97-100.
Can paleobotanists find anatomical evidence of paleopolyploidy in hybridizing populations of the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) of extant seed plants, which were indigenous Euramerican cratons and island paleoenvironments of the early Carboniferous icehouse, to verify the alpha- (α-) peak of seed plant WGDs, about 319 MYA? Some allopolyploids might have been angiosperm sister groups to conifers, cycads, ginkgophytes, and gnetophytes of the Permo-Carboniferous.
Yet, some paleobotanists suggest a monophyletic origin of flowering plants in the Jurassic or Cretaceous, a hypothesis which is based on APG III analyses combined with morphological-phylogenetic data. Which hypothesis is supported by fossil-calibrated molecular- and morphological-phylogenetic analyses of seed plant homeodomain proteins including WUSCHEL and mobile transcription factors (TFs)?
Gene Expression Studies of Spruce Illuminate Conifer Cone Organ Homologies in Deep Time (October 2013):
Carlsbecker, A., J. F. Sundström, M. Englund, D. Uddenberg, L. Izquierdo, A. Kvarnheden, F. Vergara-Silva, and P. Engström. 2013. Molecular control of normal and acrocona mutant seed cone development in Norway spruce (Picea abies) and the evolution of conifer ovule-bearing organs. New Phytologist 200(1): 261-275.
"Our morphological and gene expression analyses give support to the hypothesis that the modern cone is a complex structure, and the ovuliferous scale the result of reductions and compactions of an ovule-bearing axillary short shoot in cones of Paleozoic conifers" (page 261, Carlsbecker et al. 2013).
A commentary (Ruelens and Geuten 2013) on this study by Peter Engström and coworkers, discusses spur shoot-like ovuliferous organ development in Picea abies var. acrocona mutants within the context of Permian Pseudovoltzia liebeana and Thuringiostrobus florinii cone anatomy and expression patterns of angiosperm LFY and the SEP (MIKC-type MADS-box E) gene family.
Ruelens, P. and K. Geuten. 2013. When paleontology and molecular genetics meet: a genetic context for the evolution of conifer ovuliferous scales. New Phytologist 200(1): 10-12.
"... the phylogeny of gymnosperms and their relationship to flowering plants remains debated as morphological and molecular analyses contradict each other on key relationships" (page 10, Ruelens and Geuten 2013).
Students of seed plant evolution have an opportunity to reassess character homologies and to recompute combined morphological and tool kit phylogenies calibrated by fossils, which may encourage classroom debate on the origin of flowering plants.
Contrasting Patterns of Stomatal Development in Basal Angiosperms Confirmed by Ultrastructure (October 2013):
Rudall and Knowles (page 1032, 2013) state an important caveat:
"Developmental studies of these phylogenetically pivotal taxa [Amborella, Austrobaileya, Schisandra] are essential to understand both the homologies of stomatal types and the evolution of stomatal development in angiosperms."
Rudall, P. J. and E. V. W. Knowles. 2013. Ultrastructure of stomatal development in Early-divergent Angiosperms Reveals Contrasting Patterning and Pre-patterning. Annals of Botany 112(6): 1031-1043.
This study confirms that some water-lilies (Nymphaeales) lost stomate developmental asymmetry while Amborella and Austrobaileya retain the putatively plesiomorphic character state, which is paracytic resulting from "... at least one asymmetric [cell] division ..."
More data from extant and fossil magnoliids and monocots are needed in order to shed light on ancestral character states of subsidiary cells and to understand stomatal evo-devo from ecophysiological and tool kit perspectives.
Major Trends in Vein Packing and Hydraulic Function in Early Angiosperms Are Evident (August 2013):
Feild, T. S. and T. J. Brodribb. 2013. Hydraulic tuning of vein cell microstructure in the evolution of angiosperm venation networks. New Phytologist 199(3): 720-726.
When "Baileyan trends," are revealed from future analyses of innovative third and fourth order venation patterns, high DV, and complex hydraulic conduit microstructure (including protoxylem, metaxylem, and a 2° vascular cambium) documented in thin-sectioned, permineralized Gnetum-like Permian leaves, does Figure 2 on page 723 of Feild and Brodribb (2013) become more intriguing?
Angiosperm-like fossilized leaves, midribs, and wood of Permian gigantopterids (seed plants incertae cedis), which were not studied by Feild and Brodribb (2013), have been discussed in the paleophysiologic literature (page 350, Wilson and Knoll 2010).
"... vegetative features of gigantopterids suggest that they may resemble medullosans and angiosperms in functional [morpho] space, rather than conifers."
Wilson, J. P. and A. H. Knoll. 2010. A physiologically explicit morphospace for tracheid-based water transport in modern and extinct seed plants. Paleobiology 36: 335-355.
Further, Wilson and Knoll (page 344, 2010) state an important point in the introductory paragraph of the discussion on wood evolution and their analyses of hydraulic morphospaces:
"Molecular phylogenies suggest that angiosperms are sister to all other living seed plants."
Feild and Brodribb data (page 723, 2013) apparently motivated these workers to hypothesize that "... angiosperms represent the only clade that evolved a xylem conduit anatomy sufficiently conductive to permit miniature vessels to maintain water supply ..."
Why not execute a paleobiological project to assess documented examples of anatomical, hydraulic, and foliar innovations in seed plants that were indigenous to Permian terrestrial paleoenvironments, and to conduct phylogenetic tests of possible xylem heterochronies, calibrated by fossils?
MADS-box B Sister TFs in Bitegmic Ovules of Ginkgo Function in Development of a Fruit-like Organ (August 2013):
Lovisetto, A., Guzzo, F., Busatto, N., and G. Casadoro. 2013. Gymnosperm B-sister genes may be involved in ovule/seed development and, in some species, in growth of fleshy fruit-like structures. Annals of Botany 112(3): 535-544.
According this genetic study ... "a strong level of [MADS-box B sister] expression was maintained throughout the ovule [of Ginkgo biloba] also in later stages of development, when a layered organization of the integument had clearly developed, and both the inner and the outer integuments could be distinguished [Fig. 2H]" (page 537, Lovisetto et al. 2013).
Conversely, can ategmic ovules develop by fusion of integuments? Yes, according to R. H. Brown et al. (2010).
Brown, R. H., Nickrent, D. L. and C. S. Gasser. 2010. Expression of ovule and integument-associated genes in reduced ovules of Santalales. Evolution and Development 12(2): 231-240.
Is the bitegmic ovule an angiosperm-specific character? No.
Based on gene expression data and studies of plant development in extant model plant species, should paleobotanists reconsider homologies of angiosperm and ginkgoalean integuments and a common evo-devo of ovules attached to megasporophylls of reproductive spur shoots?
RAM Organization in Nymphaeales is Similar to Acorales while Amborella Roots are Eudicot-like (July 2013):
Oxford Journals publishes a review on root apical meristem (RAM) evo-devo in angiosperms.
Seago, J. L., Jr. and D. D. Fernando. 2013. Anatomical aspects of angiosperm root evolution. Annals of Botany 112(2): 223-238.
What is the putative relationship of mycorrhizal fungi to strigolactones and the RAM tool kit when placed in an ecological and phylogenetic context? Students can mine more information in this same issue of the Annals of Botany, and from a related book chapter:
Koltai, H. L. 2013. Strigolactones activate different hormonal pathways for regulation of root development in response to phosphate growth conditions. Annals of Botany 112(2): 409-415.
Koltai, H., R. Matusova, and Y. Kapulnik. 2012. Strigolactones in root exudates as a signal in symbiotic and parasitic interactions. Pp. 49-73 In: J. M. Vivanco and F. Baluška (eds.), Secretions and Exudates in Biological Systems, Signaling and Communication in Plants Volume 12. New York: Springer, 283 pp.
DNA-binding LFY Protein and Auxin Comprise Modules That Determine Floral Primordia in Malvid SAMs (May 2013):
The Society of Experimental Biology publishes another important study on the evo-devo of SAM primordia and the floral tool kit.
Chahtane, H., G. Vachon, M. Le Masson, E. Thévenon, S. Périgon, N. Mihajlovic, A. Kalinina, R. Michard, E. Moyroud, M. Monniaux, C. Sayou, V. Grbic, F. Parcy, and G. Tichtinsky. 2013. A variant of LEAFY reveals its capacity to stimulate meristem development by inducing RAX1. The Plant Journal 74(4): 678-689.
A related paper from the recent archives of Cell Press sheds light on the biochemistry of LEAFY genes, auxins, and TFs in malvids:
Yamaguchi, N., M.-F. Wu, C. M. Winter, M. C. Berns, S. Nole-Wilson, A. Yamaguchi, G. Coupland, B. A. Krizek, and D. Wagner. 2013. A molecular framework for auxin-mediated initiation of flower primordia. Developmental Cell 24(3): 271-282.
A growing body of biochemical and morphological evidence suggests that cones and flowers are reproductive short shoots. Fertile spur shoots are demonstrably ancient organs known from Permo-carboniferous seed plant fossils. Further, numerous molecular phylogenetic studies of homeodomain proteins and TFs posit deep conservation of cone and floral CRMs, GRNs and PINs.
Can we compute a molecular phylogeny of LFY enzyme and its DNA-binding homeodomain, which is calibrated by fossils of cones and protoflowers, to better understand starting points of floral tool kit function and to discern evolutionary patterns in deep time?
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Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences: Late Paleozoic Insect and Plant Associations (May 2013):
Labandeira, C. C. and E. D. Currano. 2013. The fossil record of plant-insect dynamics. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences 41: 287-311.
The most recent review on paleoherbivory and recovery of Permian landscapes following global biotic crises is published by Annual Reviews.
A second review in this volume by Montañez and Poulsen on the demise of the Upper Devonian and Lower Carboniferous icehouse should set a stage for interacting arthropods and seed plants of the Permo-triassic hothouse.
Montañez, I. P. and C. J. Poulsen. 2013. The late Paleozoic ice age: an evolving paradigm. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences 41: 629-656.
Evolutionarily Advanced Magnoliales and Nymphaeales from a Gondwanan Crato Paleoflora (February 2013):
Clément Coiffard and co-workers report a definitive fossil find of crown group Nymphaeales from the early Cretaceous South American Crato Formation.
Coiffard, C., B. A. Mohr, and M. E. C. Bernardes-de-Oliveira. 2013. Jaguariba wiersemana gen. nov. et sp. nov., an early Cretaceous member of crown group Nymphaeales (Nymphaeaceae) from northern Gondwana. Taxon 62(1): 141-151.
The left-hand image is Figure 1B on page 144 of Coiffard et al. (2013), "Jaguariba wiersemana gen. nov. et sp. nov.: morphology. B, complete plant, paratype (1999/615)." The scale bar at the lower right of the image is 1 cm.
Figure 1B is reproduced by permission from the International Association for Plant Taxonomy, Bratislava, Slovak Republic through Professor Joachim W. Kadereit, Editor-in-chief of Taxon, International Journal of Taxonomy, Phylogeny and Evolution, copyright ©2013.
This original research work should be read together with Barbara Mohr et al. (2013) on the discovery of the novel magnolialean species, Schenkeriphyllum glanduliferum from the Crato beds, to include revisiting important earlier discussions on biogeography, character evolution, and paleobotany of magnoliids by Bernhardt, Dilcher, J. A. Doyle, Endress, R. M. K. Saunders, Thien, and others (citations and discussion in the links to articles and the essay):
Mohr, B. A., C. Coiffard, and M. E. C. Bernardes-de-Oliveira. 2013. Schenkeriphyllum glanduliferum, a new magnolialean angiosperm from the early Cretaceous of northern Gondwana and its relationships to fossil and modern Magnoliales. Review of Paleobotany and Palynology 189: 57-72.
Together with Endressinia brasiliana these magnoliids possess putatively secreting staminodia not unlike extant Calycanthaceae, Degeneriaceae, and Eupomatiaceae. Many questions surface from morphological-phylogenetic, paleobotanical, and stratigraphic studies of South American sedimentary deposits of Gondwana by Clément Coiffard, Barbara Mohr, and others:
Can the Mohr et al. morphological-phylogenetic analysis (page 66-68, plate IX, 2013) of South American Crato Endressinia and Schenkeriphyllum, including Australasian Galbulimima (Himantandraceae, Magnoliales, Magnolianae) and Fijian Degeneria allow for a phylogeographic understanding of the paleobiology of common ancestors of these four Gondwanan genera with Laurasian magnoliids?
Do discoveries of fossilized remains from the Lower Cretaceous Crato Formation, which are referable to modern Nymphaeanae and core Magnolianae open a window to better understand origins and paraphyletic lines of evolution in basal flowering plants and magnoliids?
Does a supposed monophyletic origin of these geographically widespread, harmonic flowering plant groups with a derived (phenotypically specialized and genomically miniaturized) New Caledonian endemic Amborella trichopoda make evolutionary and phylogeographic sense, taking into account Loren Kroenke's neglected review of the complex and intriguing Mesozoic tectonic history of the southwest Pacific Basin with blocks of ancient, buried continental crust and shifting systems of ocean basins, island arcs, and subduction zones?
Kroenke, L. W. 1984. Chapter 2. New Caledonia: the Norfolk and Loyalty ridges; the New Caledonia and Loyalty Basins. Pp. 15-28 In: Cenozoic Tectonic Development of the Southwest Pacific. United Nations ESCAP, CCOP/SOPAC Technical Bulletin No. 6.
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Cytochrome P450 Theme Issue is Published by The Royal Society (February 2013):
Volume 368, Number 1612 of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B, Biological Sciences (2013), edited by David R. Nelson, is devoted to a discussion of the ancient protein family of cytochrome P450 enzymes.
Animals, fungi, microbes, and plants contain more than 18,000 molecular configurations of these fascinating enzymes, which are involved in the biosynthesis of anthocyanins, cutin, lignin, sporopollenin, steroids, suberin, and terpenoids, including compounds at the heart of the "chemical arms race."
These enzymes often act in concert with R2R3 MYB transcription factors (TFs) involved in the catalysis of flavonoid biosynthesis. Flavonoids are important signaling molecules in seed plants, which interact with the PIN proteins of auxin regulation. Anthocyanins and flavonols are localized in epidermal cone cells and nectar guides of flower petals acting as optical cues for insect and bird pollinators.
Based on extreme conservation of R2R3 MYB homeodomain proteins and some cytochrome P450s, were Paleozoic protoflowers colored and visualized by flying insects such as paleodictyopterans?
Macmillan Publishers News (October 2012):
Nature publishes a letter by a team of entomologists and paleobiologists having a bearing on the evo-devo of neuropils associated with the brain, and homologies with sensory organs of advanced crustaceans and insects:
Ma, Xiaoya, X. Hou, G. D. Edgecombe, and N. J. Strausfeld. 2012. Complex brain and optic lobes in an early Cambrian arthropod. Nature 490(7419): 258-262.
A fossilized brain from a Cambrian stem group arthropod is evidence of the early existence of an extremely conserved and sophisticated olfactory and visual sensory system in these animals ... Did evo-devo of insect eyes, mushroom bodies, neuropils, and trichromatic vision predate late Paleozoic pollen phytophagy and flying predatory behaviors of paleodictyopterans and wasps?
The left-hand image is reproduced from Figure 1 on page 258 of X. Ma et al. (2012), "Fuxianhuia protensa from the Chengjiang Lagerstätte. Dorsal view of complete specimen, YKLP 11321. A1, antenna; Ab, abdomen; Es, eye stalk; Ey, eye; Hs, head shield; Oc, optic capsule; Th, thorax. Scale bar, 1 cm." Figure 1 is licensed and reprinted by permission from Macmillan Publishers Ltd and the journal Nature, copyright ©2012.
Ecologists should compare this paleobiological study with earlier work by Chittka (1996), Does Bee Color Vision Predate the Evolution of Flower Color, Naturwissenschaften 83: 136-138. Implications of these studies, among others, toward an understanding of the deep time evolution of pollination mutualisms between species of the "Big Five" holometabolous insect orders and late Paleozoic seed plants are absolutely profound.
Annals of Botany Publication Alert (August 2012):
Transferential stigmatic tool kit function to a foliar organ of an angiosperm flower ... can petals act as male-receptive female organs? Oxford Journals publishes a paper by a team of entomologists and plant biologists having a bearing on the evo-devo of the carpel and evolution of a pollination mutualism with the foliar organ of a monocot flower.
Johnson, S. D., A. Jürgens, and M. Kuhlmann. 2012. Pollination function transferred: modified tepals of Albuca (Hyacinthaceae) serve as secondary stigmas. Annals of Botany 110(3): 565-572.
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Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences Publishes Research on the Origin of Flowering Plants (May 2012):
Doyle, J. A. 2012. Molecular and fossil evidence on the origin of angiosperms. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences 40: 301–326.
The most recent review to date on the origin of flowering plants is published by Annual Reviews. The review is the latest installment of Professor Doyle's more than 35 years of research on the origin of angiosperms.
Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics Publication Alert (December 2011):
Annual Reviews, a non-profit scientific organization, publishes a paper by Niklas Janz that critiques Paul Ehrlich and Peter Raven’s classic 1964 article on plant and lepidopteran mutualisms:
Janz, N. 2011. Ehrlich and Raven revisited: mechanisms underlying codiversification of plants and enemies. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics 42: 71-89.
University of California Press News (November 2011):
The University of California Press announces publication of the revised Jepson Manual in January 2012.
Baldwin, B. G., D. H. Goldman, D. J. Keil, R. Patterson, T. J. Rosatti, and D. H. Wilken (eds.). 2012. The Jepson Manual: Vascular Plants of California, Second Edition. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1568 pp.
Yale University Research News (March 2010):
Molecular phylogenetic studies by Yale University colleagues suggest a late Triassic age for the flowering plant crown group (March 2010).
Contrary to assertions reported in the Science Daily, Stephen A. Smith et al. (2010) are not the first scientists to propose a Triassic origin of angiosperms. Bruce Cornet, Ph.D. should receive credit for his quite correct and detailed arguments in support of a Triassic origin of flowering plants, which appear in two papers published in 1986 and 1989.
Discussion Meeting Issue "Darwin and the Evolution of Flowers" (February 2010):
Volume 365, Number 1539 of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B, Biological Sciences (2010), edited by Peter R. Crane, Else Marie Friis, and William G. Chaloner is devoted to a discussion of Charles Darwin and the origin of flowers.
Fifteen articles are devoted to the topic including papers by:
Endress, P. A. 2010. The evolution of floral biology in basal angiosperms. Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B, Biological Sciences 365(1539): 411-421.
Friis, E. M., K. R. Pedersen, and P. R. Crane. 2010. Diversity in obscurity: fossil flowers and the early history of angiosperms. Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B, Biological Sciences 365(1539): 369-382.
Jasinski, S., A. C. M. Vialette-Guiraud, and C. P. Scutt. 2010. The evolutionary-developmental analysis of plant microRNAs. Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B, Biological Sciences 365(1539): 469-476.
Mathews, S., M. D. Clements, and M. A. Beilstein. 2010. A duplicate gene rooting of seed plants and the phylogenetic position of flowering plants. Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B, Biological Sciences 365(1539): 383-395.
Rudall, P. J. and R. M. Bateman. 2010. Defining the limits of flowers: the challenge of distinguishing between the evolutionary products of simple versus compound strobili. Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B, Biological Sciences 365(1539): 397-409.
Charles Darwin Bicentennial Issue of the American Journal of Botany (January 2009):
The January 2009 issue of the American Journal of Botany explores the origin, evolution, and radiation of flowering plants. More than twenty articles are devoted to the topic.
Contributions to The Revised Jepson Manual (July 2008):
John and the original authors of The Jepson Manual: Higher Plants of California (Hickman, 1993) have revised and submitted treatments of Anacardiaceae (Malosma, Pistacia, Rhus, Schinus, and Searsia), Cucurbitaceae (Brandegea, Citrullus, Cucumis, Cucurbita, and Marah), Lamiaceae (Acanthomintha, Glechoma, Hedeoma, Lycopus, Marrubium, Melissa, Moluccella, Nepeta, Poliomintha, Prunella, Salazaria, Satureja, and Teucrium), and Montiaceae (Calandrinia, Calyptridium [with C. Matt Guilliams], Cistanthe [with C. Matt Guilliams], Claytonia, Lewisia, and Montia), for The Jepson Manual: Vascular Plants of California, Second Edition.
Back Issues of Selected Botanical Journals Are Available (March 2007):
These volumes are available free-of-charge (recipient must make financial arrangements with a carrier, and pre-pay shipping charges from California, USA, to destination). I will box them and hand-carry to the shipping vendor for weighing. The gigantopteroid.org web site will not be involved in any financial transactions.
Allertonia Volumes 1 and 2
Systematic Botany (Volumes 1 through 31)
Kindly note that the Systematic Botany volumes are heavy, weighing more than 100 hundred kilograms. If interested, please contact me.
Paleobotanical Books, Graphics, and Reprints Are Sought (March 2007):
I welcome complementary copies of recent editions of books, reprints of paleobotanical monographs, and reprints of journal articles on paleontology on an exchange basis. Could someone donate a copy of the out-of-print book titled "Fossil Floras of China Through the Ages"?
Articles in pdf format are sought, but electronic versions must be in compliance with the copyright laws of the originating country. I am also interested in receiving images and graphics for use on the gigantopteroid web site (with permissions, please). Scientific and software publishers and free-lance artists are encouraged to help me improve and enhance the educational value of this web site. If interested, please contact me.
Systematics of Claytonia [Portulacaceae] (July 2006):
John M. Miller, Ph.D. and Kenton L. Chambers, Ph.D. have published a taxonomic monograph titled, Systematics of Claytonia (Portulacaceae), culminating more than 40 years of research on a biogeographically significant group of flowering plants, which are indigenous to the mountain chains of Asia and North America.
The image to the right consists of several tetraploid plants of Claytonia parviflora subsp. parviflora from the Greenhorn Mountains of western North America.
Interested persons may order a copy of the hardbound Volume 78 of this serial through the American Society of Plant Taxonomists Business Manager. Booksellers, botanists, and buyers should also consult the home page of Systematic Botany Monographs.
Death Valley Desert Blooms (April 2005):
The 2005 bloom season was extraordinary on the floor and alluvial debris fans of Death Valley, a graben located east of the Panamint Mountains, Death Valley National Park, Inyo County, California, USA. The author and his associates visited the region in April 2005 and captured these images, among others.
To the left is an image of a Holocene debris fan of the Amargosa Mountains (the Panamint Mountains are to the right): the yellow color is a population of Geraea canescens (Asteraceae, Asterales, Asteranae). To the right is a close-up of Eremalche rotundiflora (Malvaceae, Malvales, Rosanae) photographed by Homer Hobi (who accompanied John together with Ed Dipesa, now deceased).
Fairy Lantern Field Biology (April 2004):
Together with Tim Armstrong, the author discovered a previously undocumented population of Calochortus pulchellus (Liliaceae, Liliales, Lilianae) from a volcanic plateau in southern Solano County, California, which is not far from the Willis Linn Jepson Ranch. The Mount Diablo fairy lantern was previously known from Contra Costa County on Mount Diablo, a prominent mountain peak of the Diablo Range rising above the foothills south of the Carquinez Straits and Suisun Bay of western North America.
Students may wish to read about Calochortus pulchellus in recent biosystematic studies of some Calochortus species published by Bryan Ness in 1989 (Systematic Botany 14:495-505).
REVISED AND POSTED OCTOBER 1, 2013