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


-1458 outstanding student football co-captain - wrestler and third baseman Jason Richard near Forks football stadium September 1999
Date: Mon, 17 Apr 2000 12:46:54 -0700 (PDT) From: "John Barrett" | Block Address | Add to Address Book Subject: BOTANY,botany,botany To: Jeremey- Watch out -if Travis finds out you're taking botany, they'll make you water all the plants and flowers. Have you heard the terms phylogeny and cladistics? They relate to the branching patterns of ancestors of various groups. In the prokaryotes, bacteria often exchange and recombine genes, - it is being recognized this was very important in early evolution - horizontal transfer of gene - and it is an important factor in the rapid spread of antibiotic resistance in diseases like influenza. Geneticaly modified foods do this deliberately, but they are realizing it occurs naturally. However, higher animals and plants usually form a branching tree of descent from ancestors. In the 1960s Willi Hennig applied more rigorous methods of analyzing ancestral "plesiomorphic" and new characters {[apomorphic] and shared apomorphic characters are SYNAPOMORPHIC. key word in cladistics. SYN means with, together. Hennig worked on New Zealand flies - Diptera. Both morphological and molecular characters are useful, but in past year molecular data seem to have resolved earliest branches in the flowering plants ANGIOSPERMS [name means 'closed seed'. Amborella of New Caledonia seems to be the oldest branch in flowering plants. It was formerly placed in the order Laurales {avocado, cinnamon, sassafras, which are placed in the large 'primitive angiosperm' superorder Magnoliiflorae by the late Swedish systematist Rolf Dahlgren [1931-1987 auto accident]. These have unusual oils that are lost in more 'advanced' bee-pollinated forms. For a long time flowering plant ancestors seem to have attracted primarily flies and beetles by scent resembling rotten fruit - then about seventy million years ago bee-pollinated types became dominant, and some important flowering plants switched back to wind pollination- the grasses now cover about a third of the earth's surface and most of them are wind-pollinated, though the earliest grasses Anomochloa and Steptochaete of the Amazon were bamboo-like and insect pollinated. Grasses have adapted to cooler, drier climates and lower levels of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere than in the age of Reptiles.Important stages of flowering plant evolution occurred around one hundred twenty million years ago in a warm environment with more oxygen and carbon dioxide than today. Current molecular evidence indicates that flowering plant ancestors have been an independent line for a very long time, but fossils are very scarce before the Aptian epoch around one hundred and ten million years ago - pollen is more abundant and identifiable flowering plant pollens go back to the Barremian about one hundred twenty-five million years ago. Plants pollinated by wind usually have to make much more pollen than those that rely on insects. One of the important Barremian-age pollens Clavatipollenites resembles living genus Ascarina in family Chlorantchaceae. This is significant, because many Chloranthaceae are insect pollinated, while Ascarina is adapted to wind pollination and must make much more pollen. It appears that in the Barremian epoch a plant of this group moved out of a forest habitat into a windy open habitat, where more pollen was needed, so the fossil record began. Some water plants are very ancient, such as waterlilies order Nympheales genera include Nymphaea, Nuphar, Euryale ferox [very big thorns] he giant Victoria of Amazon and Paraguay and fly-pollinated Cabomba. There is an aquatic Hydrophyllum demersum that has no petals and spreads it pollen underwater-- it was formerly lumped with the Nympheales, but is now thought probably an old separate line. The 'lotus' Nelumbo also may be an independant old aquatic line. Besides their special oils, lost in bee-and wind-pollinated groups, the Magnolioid superorder shows signs of spiral arrangement of parts, which many research link to non-flowering seed plants. Some of these show little or no differentiation of the SEPALS CALYX from the PETALS Corolla. The apical growth bud keeps turning out parts in spiral design [some people call it 'strobiloid' like a pine cone - they become in turn sepals, petals, anthers with pollen - then inner "gymoecium" where pistil usually is sticky and catches pollen to transmit to ovules. The active part of a pollen grain is normally only two or three cells- in most flowering plants there is double fertilization, and one cell of the pollen grain mates with one cell of the ovule to form the first fused cell of the embryo of the new plant. A second cell forms a triploid tissue with two copies of maternal DNA and one of the pollen-parent {some botanists like to avoid terms 'male' and 'female" - not everybody agrees. This special triploid tissue is the endosperm- we use a lot of it in our diet - most grain we eat is endosperm. Grasses rely more on mechanical rather than chemical deterrents to herbivores- they have silica bodies and other hard substances to deter both insects and large herbivores - that is why cows,buffalo, sheep, antelope 'chew their cud' and have four stomachs - in past 20-30 million years the 'even-toed' artiodactyls have over much grassland from 'odd-toed' perissodactyls, related to horse, tapir, rhinoceros - as grasses became tougher - horses declined to a few species, and the artiodactyls became dominant. The ancestors of the flowering plants may have been small herbaceous things that do not leave much fossil record -=and swamps and wetlands produce much more fossil material than "uplands." There was some evidence that a group called Gnetales - ephedra of temperate deserts and tropical Gnetum and the strange Welwitschia might be related - they frequently are insect pollinated, and they have a phenomenon like double fertilization, but molecular evience is saying Gnetales are related to conifers, and flowering plants probably are not. The conifers are the most successful living gymnosperms - in the northern hemisphere, the Pinaceae have about eleven genera Pinus pine over 140 species-- Picea spruce {34 species adapt to extreme cold dry interiors Siberia,Canada-] Larix larch [10 specues[deciduous} need lot of sun- adapt to permafrost and marsh - Pseudotsuga Douglas fir - Tsuga hemlock - share tolerant seedlings Abies true firs 46 species Cedrus true cedars of old world Cathaya Pseudolarix Keeteleria --- this family forms ectomycorrhira with mushrooms and similar fungi, which greatly help tree nutrition -- next family Cupressaceae - core of family includes Thuja western red cedar or arborvitum - Chamaecyparis _name means 'ground-cypress' hardier than Cupressus 'true-cypress' includes Port Orford cedar Chamaecyparis lawsoniana and nootkaensis alaska 'yellow' cedar - and atlantic white cedar and two Asian species very variable and popular in cultivation - Juniper - with bird-dispersed fruit-like cones - and Calocedrus 'California incense cedar used to make pencils --these are the core group - but the old family Taxodiaceae has now been merged with Cupressaceae - it included redwood Sequoia sempervirens and Sierra Bevada 'big tree' Sequoiadendron gigantea. They both will grow in Port Angeles, as does the Chilean'monkey puzzle of family Araucaceae. Yew and plum-yew are small conifer families, and Podocarpaceae are an extremely variable large group of the old southern continent Gondwana. The 'umbrella-pine' of Japan Sciadopitys is now placed in a family of its own. The Arizona Petrified Forest Triassic age about 210 million years has trees related to Araucaria. Other living seed plants - Cycads, gingko. Cycads of New Guinea live many thousands of years. Other 'vascular plants' with DIPLOID genomes and advanced fluid-channels include living FERNS, HORSETAILS, CLUB MOSSES, and LYCOPODS. MANY HAD HUGE TREE RELATIVES IN MISSISSIPPIAN-PENNSYLVANIAN EPOCHS AROUND 400 MILLION YEARS AGO. The Bryophytes are a very ancient group [or 'groups'- cladists think they might be 'polyphyletic' not all related to each other. In Bryophtes the dominant generation you see, which does photosynthesis is HAPLOID, with just a single copy of its DNA. The parasitic DIPLOID generation usually exists briefly to recombine and spread the species but gets its nourishment from the HAPLOID plant - reverse of the vascular plants. The major groups of Bryophytes are Mosses, Liverworts, and Anthocerotes, and recent data from GrandCanyon AZ seem to show their spores in Cambrian rocks 500 million years old.Land plants evolved from green algae, which are eukaryotes and have chloroplasts derived by symbiosis, as do other groups. The large seaweeds are 'brown algae' - the red algae are very ancient -apparently occur as billion year old fossils resembling a group called Bangiales. Haptophytes are a group that have mobility from a structure called a 'haptonema' - they have skeletons containing calcium and carbonate. They are abundant in moderately deep ocean. All these are eukaryotes with photosynthetic chloroplasts that arose different times. The Blue Greens are prokaryotes - algae is an ecological term- Blue Greens have a single chromosome and bacterial genetics - they seem to have formed large fossil structures called stromatolites. They are called cyanobacteria and their method of photosynthesis releases enormous amounts of oxygen. Some other bacteria -quite old- are able to photosynthesize but do not release oxygen. Current estimates are that blue-greens began releasing oxygen maybe 2.7 billion years ago, but some chemical process took it out of atmosphere so iron deposits appear in REDUCED,ANOXIC form till 2.1 Billion years ago. This is important in many iron deposits of Precambrian epoch, and solubility of Ferric [Fe+3] and Ferrous Iron [FE+2] is different.
Subject: (**)
Year: 1999