Plant Variation and Evolution

Front Cover
Cambridge University Press, Nov 13, 1997 - Science - 512 pages
Natural populations of plants show intricate patterns of variation. European botanists of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries used this variation to classify different 'kinds' into a hierarchy of family, genus, and species. Although useful, these classifications were based on a belief in the fixity of species and the static patterns of variation. Darwin's theory of evolution changed this view; populations and species varied in time and space and were part of a continuing process of evolution. The development of molecular techniques has transformed our understanding of microevolution and the evolutionary history of the flowering plants. This new edition reviews recent progress in its historical context, showing how hypotheses and models developed in the past have been critically tested. The authors consider the remarkable insights that molecular biology has given us into the processes of evolution in populations of cultivated, wild and weedy species, the threats of extinction faced by many endangered species and the wider evolutionary history of the flowering plants as revealed by cladistic methods.
 

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Contents

The work of Mendel
58
Pangenesis
64
Physical basis of Mendelian inheritance
73
PostDarwinian ideas about evolution
80
Modern views on the basis of variation
88
Mutation
94
NonMendelian inheritance
103
Use of DNA in studies of variation
111
Experiments by American botanists
174
The widespread occurrence of ecotypes
183
Species and speciation
259
Gradual speciation and hybridisation
270
Abrupt speciation
309
The species concept
361
some general considerations
367
confronting the extinction of species
399

Phenotypic plasticity
120
Lateacting selfincompatibility systems
133
Consequences of different reproductive modes
143
Environmental control of facultative apomixis
157
Concluding remarks
165
Manipulating and creating populations of endangered
428
Glossary
434
Index
499
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