August 2010

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  • Pollen viability in Mediterranean orchids
    in

    Pollen viability in Mediterranean orchids

    Pollen viability in Mediterranean orchids Evaluation of pollen viability has generally been confined to a relatively low number of species. Bellusci et al. study five related Mediterranean orchid genera (Anacamptis, Orchis, Dactylorhiza, Ophrys and Serapias) that are characterized by different types of deceptive pollination and find that pollen viabilities of species groups with different deception […] More

  • Genetic relationships between sympatric and allopatric Casearia
    in

    Genetic relationships between sympatric and allopatric Casearia

    Genetic relationships between sympatric and allopatric Casearia Casearia sylvestris var. sylvestris inhabits humid, dense forests, while var. lingua is restricted to xeric habitats, yet despite differences in morphology and habitat preference, intermediate forms exist in transitional environments, complicating the delimitation of the taxa. Cavallari et al. examine nine microsatellite markers and conclude that the two […] More

  • Highlight Annals of Botany cover
    in

    The Genetics Behind Evolution

    Over the years, hundreds of papers have been published describing the genetic changes that occur during evolution of plants, and the differences evident between individual species. An equally high number of papers has been published about the definition of species, their separation and naming. Many have joined discussions of where and why new species form […] More

  • Tetrad shape and aperture pattern ontogeny in pollen
    in

    Tetrad shape and aperture pattern ontogeny in pollen

    Tetrad shape and aperture pattern ontogeny in pollen Patterns of male cytokinesis are suspected to play a role in the diversity of aperture patterns found in pollen grains of angiosperms. By comparing two eudicots, Epilobium roseum and Paranomus reflexus, that exhibit intra-individual variation in aperture number, Abert et al. demonstrate that the positions of apertures […] More

  • Evolution of mycoheterotrophy from mixotrophic ancestors
    in

    Evolution of mycoheterotrophy from mixotrophic ancestors

    Evolution of mycoheterotrophy from mixotrophic ancestors Nutritional changes associated with the evolution of achlorophyllous, mycoheterotrophic plants have not been inferred within a robust phylogenetic framework. Motomura et al. examine variations in heterotrophy in association with the evolution of leaflessness using a chlorophyllous/achlorophyllous species pair in Cymbidium (Orchidaceae) and demonstrate that mycoheterotrophy evolved after the establishment […] More

  • Evolution of long scapes in Drosera
    in

    Evolution of long scapes in Drosera

    Evolution of long scapes in Drosera Conventional wisdom is that long scapes in insectivorous plants have evolved to provide spatial separation between flowers and traps, preventing pollinators from being captured. However, Anderson studies two sympatric species with identical pollinators, Drosera cistiflora, with an upright growth form but a short scape, and D. pauciflora with a […] More

  • Shocked, and I can't say I blame her.
    in

    Don’t Be So Cerebral?

    I’m following my introduction to Don’t Be Such a Scientist with a look at the first chapter of the book. It opens with Randy Olson’s four organs model of communication based on the Head, Heart, Gut and Sex Organs. The Head is rational and responds to facts. It’s the organ that scientists respond to, at […] More

  • Mixed mating and colonization potential of a fern
    in

    Mixed mating and colonization potential of a fern

    Mixed mating and colonization potential of a fern Environmental change leads to increasing selection pressure on the capacity of plants to colonize new areas. Wubs et al. show that the colonization success of the fern Asplenium scolopendrium is linked to its mating system, with selfing rates varying greatly among genotypes. Single-spore establishment of new populations […] More

  • in

    What I did on my holidays

    On the way up to Scotland, we stopped at Durham and spent a day at the University Botanic Garden: The garden is very well maintained, with informative and friendly staff. Well worth a visit if you’re in the area, or on your way up to Scotland for some orchid hunting: More

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