HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Oily fossils provide clues to the evolution of flowers

Daffodils, tulips, roses and other flowers are so much a part of our daily lives that we take them for granted.

But to evolutionary scientists, the question of how and when flowering plants appeared on Earth has gone unanswered for more than a century.

Mosses were the first plants to emerge on land some 425 million years ago, followed by firs, ginkgoes, conifers and several other varieties.

According to the fossil record, flowering plants abruptly appeared out of nowhere about 130 million years ago.

Where did they come from, and how could they have evolved so suddenly without any transitional fossils linking them to other ancient plant species?

"An abominable mystery" is how nineteenth-century naturalist Charles Darwin referred to the origin of flowering plants, and the puzzle remains as controversial today as ever.

Now a team of Stanford geochemists has entered the debate with evidence that flowers may have evolved 250 million years ago - long before the first pollen grain appeared in the fossil record.

"Our research indicates that the descendants of flowering plants may have originated during the Permian period, between 290 and 245 million years ago," says J. Michael Moldowan, research professor of Geological and Environmental Sciences.

"We based our findings on an organic compound called oleanane, which we found in the fossil record," he adds.

Moldowan and his collaborators, research associate Jeremy Dahl and graduate student David A. Zinniker, will present their findings at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in San Diego on April 2, during a symposium titled, "Biogeochemistry of Terrestrial Organic Matter."

Oleanane

Oleanane is produced by many common flowering plants as a defense against insects, fungi and various microbial invaders. But the chemical is absent in other seed plants, such as pines and gingkoes.

Using gas chromatography and mass spectroscopy, Moldowan and his colleagues have
'"/>

Contact: Mark Shwartz
mshwartz@stanford.edu
650-723-9296
Stanford University
1-Apr-2001


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Ghost crab fossils haunt area beaches
2. Scientists debate meaning of 40-million-year-old primate fossils in Nature
3. Dinosaur, crab fossils reveal ecosystem secrets
4. Study of fossils found in arctic shows plants more developed at earlier time
5. Max-Planck doctoral student discovers living fossils
6. New process by Temple grad student can place loose fossils back into the strata or determine fakes
7. UCLA scientists, colleagues substantiate biological origin of earliest fossils
8. New fossils suggest whales and hippos are close kin
9. Digging for genetic fossils: Hutchinson Center researchers solve structure of ancient biological molecule
10. New fossils may be first human ancestors out of Africa, say Science authors
11. Geologists at UNC-CH discover states most spectacular fossils

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/2/2016)... 2016 The Department of Transport Management ... 44 million US Dollar project, for the , ... Personalization, Enrolment, and IT Infrastructure , to ... and implementation of Identity Management Solutions. Numerous renowned international vendors ... Decatur was selected for the most compliant and ...
(Date:5/20/2016)...  VoiceIt is excited to announce its new ... By working together, VoiceIt and VoicePass will offer ... take slightly different approaches to voice biometrics, collaboration ... usability. Both ... "This marketing and technology partnership allows ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... and BANGALORE, India , April 28, 2016 ... a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: INFY ), ... a global partnership that will provide end customers ... mobile banking and payment services.      (Logo: ... innovation area for financial services, but it also plays a ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... June 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - BIOREM Inc. (TSX-V: BRM) ("Biorem" ... by its major shareholders, Clean Technology Fund I, LP ... States based venture capital funds which together ... (on a fully diluted, as converted basis), that they ... their entire equity holdings in Biorem to TUS Holdings ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Newly created 4Sight Medical Solutions ... healthcare market. The company's primary focus is on new product introductions, to include ... are necessary to help companies efficiently bring their products to market. , The ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016  Regular discussions on a range of subjects including ... two entities said Poloz. Speaking at a lecture ... , he pointed to the country,s inflation target, which is ... "In certain areas there ... common economic goals, why not sit down and address strategy ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... WA (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... announces the release of its second eBook, “Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention ... recruitment and retention in this eBook by providing practical tips, tools, and strategies ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: