"The present book is intended as a progress report on [the] synthetic approach to evolution as it applies to the plant kingdom." With this simple statement, G. Ledyard Stebbins formulated the objectives of Variation and Evolution in Plants, published in 1950, setting forth for plants what became known as the "synthetic theory of evolution" or "the modern synthesis." The pervading conceit of the book was the molding of Darwin's evolution by natural selection within the framework of rapidly advancing genetic knowledge.
At the time, Variation and Evolution in Plants significantly extended the scope of the science of plants. Plants, with their unique genetic, physiological, and evolutionary features, had all but been left completely out of the synthesis until that point. Fifty years later, the National Academy of Sciences convened a colloquium to update the advances made by Stebbins.
This collection of 17 papers marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Stebbins' classic. Organized into five sections, the book covers: early evolution and the origin of cells, virus and bacterial models, protoctist models, population variation, and trends and patterns in plant evolution.
Table of Contents
|Part I: Early Evolution and the Origin of Cells||1-2|
|1 G. Ledyard Stebbins (1906-2000) -- An Appreciation||3-5|
|2 Solution to Darwin's Dilemma: Discovery of the Missing Precambrian Record of Life||6-20|
|3 The Chimeric Eukaryote: Origin of the Nucleus from the Karyomastigont in Amitochondriate Protists||21-34|
|4 Dynamic Evolution of Plant Mitochondrial Genomes: Mobile Genes and Introns and Highly Variable Mutation Rates||35-58|
|Part II: Viral and Bacterial Models||59-60|
|5 The Evolution of RNA Viruses: A Population Genetics View||61-82|
|6 Effects of Passage History and Sampling Bias on Phylogenetic Reconstruction of Human Influenza A Evolution||83-98|
|7 Bacteria are Different: Observations, Interpretations, Speculations, and Opinions About the Mechanisms of Adaptive Evolution in Prokaryotes||99-114|
|Part III: Protoctist Models||115-116|
|8 Evolution of RNA Editing in Trypanosome Mitochondria||117-142|
|9 Population Structure and Recent Evolution of Plasmodium falciparum||143-164|
|Part IV: Population Variation||165-166|
|10 Transposons and Genome Evolution in Plants||167-186|
|11 Maize as a Model for the Evolution of Plant Nuclear Genomes||187-210|
|12 Flower Color Variation: A Model for the Experimental Study of Evolution||211-234|
|13 Gene Genealogies and Population Variation in Plants||235-252|
|Part V: Trends and Patterns in Plant Evolution||253-254|
|14 Toward a New Synthesis: Major Evolutionary Trends in the Angiosperm Fossil Record||255-270|
|15 Reproductive Systems and Evolution in Vascular Plants||271-288|
|16 Hybridization as a Stimulus for the Evolution of Invasiveness in Plants?||289-309|
|17 The Role of Genetic and Genomic Attributes in the Success of Polyploids||310-330|
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