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Abstract Detail

Paleobotanical Section

Lomax, Barry [1], Smillie, Ian [1], Knight, Charles [2], Upchurch, Garland [3].

Genome size and the early angiosperms.

Darwin in his often quoted letter, dated 22nd July 1879, to J.D. Hooker remarked that “The rapid development as far as we can judge of all the higher plants [angiosperms] within recent geological times is an abominable mystery”. Today some 130 years latter we are still grappling with this key question. Recent sequence work suggests that the angiosperm diversification event was accompanied by successive whole genome duplication events, suggesting that polyploidy may have played an important role in angiosperm diversification. The relationship between cell size and genome size (GS) is well known, well characterised and has been used to reconstruct the palaeogenome size of disparate fossil animal groups. However the technique has not been widely used in (palaeo)botany with only a few published studies using the relationship between guard cell length (GCL) and GS to infer the genome size of fossil plants. Experimental work suggests that the relationship between GCL and GS is independent of environment, with GCL in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana showing minimal variation when exposed to a wide range of environmental perturbations (atmospheric CO2, drought, relative humidity, irradiance, ultraviolet radiation and pathogen attack). This presentation will outline how the integration of fossil and experimental data is leading to advances in our understanding of GS and its role in angiosperm evolution.

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1 - University of Nottingham, Agriculture and Environmental Science, Sutton Bonington Campus, Sutton Bonington, LE12 5RD, UK
2 - California Polytechnic State University, Department of Biological Sciences, San Luis Obispo,, CA 93407, USA
3 - Texas State University, Department of Biology, 601 University Drive, San Marcos, TX, 78666, USA


Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 16
Location: Melrose/Riverside Hilton
Date: Tuesday, July 30th, 2013
Time: 10:15 AM
Number: 16008
Abstract ID:514
Candidate for Awards:None

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