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A special issue of the International Journal of Plant Sciences
Date:1/6/2008

Recent inquiry into variation and evolution of reproductive systems of flowering plants has produced exciting and ground-breaking work within the plant sciences. In a special issue of the International Journal of Plant Sciences, leading botanist Spencer Barrett of the University of Toronto gathers together in a single volume some of the most compelling work on the three areas that have seen the most growth: flowers and pollination, mating patterns and gender strategies, and asexual reproduction and polyploidy. The focus of the volume is on evolutionary transitions. The shifts in reproductive character states that constitute evolutionary transition are key elements of biological diversification and the identification and study of major transitions during the history of plant life now represent an important research program in evolutionary biology. This volume is the first to address the study of evolutionary transitions in plants.

Flowering plants owe their spectacular diversity to the evolution of their pollination systems, and the first section of the issue, Flowers and Pollination, includes five articles that explore floral function. Mark Raushers article begins the special issue with a comprehensive review of transitions in flower color in animal-pollinated lineages, focusing in particular on the change from blue to red. James Thomson and Paul Wilson follow with a paper that also studies the blue-to-red change, but they consider the ecological and genetic mechanisms that might account for the destabilization of pollination syndromes. Risa Sargent and Jana Vamosi further explore this topic in their paper, which investigates the extent to which ecological context influences evolutionary transitions in the degree of pollinator specialization. Next, Lawrence Harder and Steven Johnson tackle the intriguing problem of why some flowering plants disperse their pollen in groups. And in the final article in the section, William Friedman, Eric Madrid,
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Contact: Rudy Faust
rfaust@press.uchicago.edu
773-834-0386
University of Chicago Press Journals
Source:Eurekalert

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