Red Headed Stepchild
(The Barrett family memoir of Navy Life)
by Sophie Ruth Meranski with photos


sinkhole in Highway 101 near Hoh River along Pacific Coast south of Forks along route toward Kalaloch Lodge on Olympic Peninsula coast and Queets, Quinault Native settlements and Humptulips, Hoquiam, Aberdeen. This is the route of the West Jefferson county buses in one of the highest-rainfall regions of United States. The scenery is worth visiting, and the steelhead fishing is the best in the world. DOYLE >Relation of pollen morphology to self-incompatibility is a huge >subject, and I wonder how far concepts can be extended back in time. I've managed to avoid this one. >I also wonder what is the earliest fossil evidence of pollen tubes >and pollen tube transmission tissue. A pollen tube is known in Callistophyton, in the Pennsylvanian, but it isn't clear if this was of the haustorial or sperm-transferring type (Rothwell, G. W., 1972. Evidence of pollen tubes in Paleozoic pteridosperms. Science 175: 772-774; Rothwell, G. W., 1981. The Callistophytales (Pteridospermopsida): reproductively sophisticated Paleozoic gymnosperms. Rev. Palaeobot. Palynol. 32: 103-121). >Have you any opinion on Bruce Cornet's belief that pollen tube >transmission tissue of Sanmiguelia is more like angiosperms than >Gnetales? I think Bruce was trying to squeeze too much out of his fossils. Some of these things are hard enough to interpret in living plants. >The molecular evidence of a close relation of Gnetales to conifers >especially Pinaceae may not be totally settled - different results >occur I think with "Maximum Parsimony" and "Maximum Likelihood". For some genes, like the photosystem genes my colleague Mike Sanderson has studied. >I would welcome opportunities to study these mathematical techniques >rigorously. The subtleties are way beyond me... I'd check out Hillis, D. M., Moritz, C., Mable, B. K. (eds.), 1996. Molecular systematics, second edition, Sinauer, Sunderland, Mass., 515-543. >I think I saw something that there was a change in the number of >copies of phytochrome genes. The "Anthophyte Clade" appears to be an >'endangered' taxon, but it might still be possible for Gnetales to >turn up basal in symnosperms, It would really be ironic if both of the two youngest seed plant groups in the fossil record turn out to branch off before conifers, cycads, and ginkgos diverge from each other, which must have happened in the Pennsylvanian. It's bad enough with angiosperms (or rather the line leading to them, whatever it was) being the sister group of living gymnosperms. >Have you developed an estimate as to the probable branching date of >Amborella ancestors? The branching could be Jurassic. I'll have to send you Sanderson, M. J., Doyle, J. A., 2001. Sources of error and confidence intervals in estimating the age of angiosperms from rbcL and 18S rDNA data. Am. J. Bot. 88: 1499-1516. I'm highly leery of molecular clocks. >I was interested in two 1984 papers of Kubitzki and Gottlieb. In >August 1984 Taxon they argued for the importance of the shikimate >pathway in ancestral angiosperms. The shikimates give great >diversity of phytochemicals for herbivore defense and attractants >perhaps first for fruit and then for pollination. What happens to >this hypothesis now that the clade of Magnoliales is losing >primogeniture? But not to the benefit of groups like eudicots, remember. I admit I'm pretty shaky on phytochemistry. >It is still possible that Magnolia and Degeneria and others remained >in the original environment, while other clades colonized new sites. They're not so much like the ANITA groups. The ecophysiology of these is being worked on by Taylor Feild at Berkeley - he just got back from a month in China studying Illicium, Chloranthaceae, etc. They are almost all in shaded, disturbed habitats. >It will be important to characterize Amborella phytochemically Somebody must be doing this - although phytochemists are almost as endangered as palynologists. >I think it was Gottsberger who argued that Drimys might be the >ancestral condition, but I argued that the more tropical frangant >genera like Gygogynum probably needed time to evolve,while >unavailability of original pollinators could led to switches to >less-specialized types, as has occured in some Mominiaceae of >islands of Indian Ocean. Based on the fossil record and their sister group (Canellaceae), Winteraceae moved into their present temperate habitats from the tropics. >They concluded the data did not prove a close relation, though the >parallels are striking. They'd better not be homologous, with rosids being nested so deeply in the angiosperms. Best wishes, James A. Doyle Section of Evolution and Ecology University of California Davis, CA 95616, USA Telephone: 1-530-752-7591; fax: 1-530-752-1449
Year: 2002