Chemotaxonomy of domesticated grasses: a pathway to understanding the origins of agriculture

June 7, 2019
WDG

Open access:

Jardine, P.E., Gosling, W.D., Lomax, B.H., Julier, A.C.M. & Fraser, W.T. (2019) Chemotaxonomy of domesticated grasses: a pathway to understanding the origins of agriculture. Journal of Micropalaeontology 38, 83-95. DOI: 10.5194/jm-38-83-2019

A novel approach to study the morphology and chemistry of pollen in a phylogenetic context, applied to the halophytic taxon Nitraria L.(Nitrariaceae)

July 23, 2018
WDG

Open access:

Woutersen, A., Jardine, P.E., Bogota-Angel, R.G., Zhang, H., Silvestro, D., Antonelli, A., Gogna, E., Erkens, R.H.J., Gosling, W.D., Dupont-Nivet, G. & Hoorn, C. (2018) A novel approach to study the morphology and chemistry of pollen in a phylogenetic context, applied to the halophytic taxon Nitraria L.(Nitrariaceae). PeerJ 6, e5055. DOI: 10.7717/peerj.5055

Jardine, P.E., Abernethy, F.A.J., Lomax, B.H., Gosling, W.D. & Fraser, W.T. Shedding light on sporopollenin chemistry, with reference to UV reconstructions. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 238: 1-6. DOI: 10.1016/j.revpalbo.2016.11.014

 

Shining a light on fossil sunshine

December 15, 2016
WDG

Dr. Phil Jardine

Dr. Phil Jardine

An international team of scientists have reconstructed the longest ever record of past sunshine using pollen trapped in lake sediments collected in Ghana, Africa. The study published today in Scientific Reports enables us to understand past changes in solar input to the global system over the past 140,000 years. Previously we have had to rely upon computer models to mathematically determine past solar inputs to the Earth. “This work really is a first; being able to peer back in time to understand how the Sun has driven our global system over many of thousands of years is a very exciting prospect” said joint-lead author Dr. Phillip Jardine of The Open University.

The Sun is a key component of our natural environment, driving a multitude of processes at Earth’s surface, from photosynthesis generating energy within plants, through to global-scale circulation patterns in our oceans and atmosphere. Understanding more about how the Sun has behaved in the past, and the influence this had on Earth’s environment, will help scientists predict future climate change.

Dr. Jardine used a technique pioneered by one of his co-authors, Dr. Wesley Fraser of Oxford Brookes University, to determine past changes in solar input, specifically changes in ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Plants protect themselves from the harmful nature of ultraviolet radiation by incorporating a number of specific chemical compounds into their tissues that absorb and dissipate the energy of UV radiation. Pollen grains of flowering plants are also provided protection by these UV-absorbing chemicals, thus act as a long-term recorder of ultraviolet radiation from the Sun.

Pollen grains are readily trapped in lake sediments, where they can be preserved for millions of years. By extracting material from Lake Bosumtwi, Ghana, the pollen that was released by flowering plants thousands of years ago can be separated from the lake sediment and chemically analysed for UV-absorbing chemical compounds. It is this chemical signature within the ancient pollen grains that provides us with information about past levels of solar ultraviolet radiation.

“What we present here is a new opportunity to explore how the Earth has changed” said Dr. William Gosling (University of Amsterdam). “I am particularly excited about this because it will means that we can gain a better understanding of why vegetation changed in the past, and consequently this will allow us to anticipate better what the likely impacts of projected future climate change will be.”

This study is available now at www.nature.com/articles/srep39269

Jardine PE, Fraser WT, Lomax BH, Sephton MA, Shanahan TM, Miller CS & Gosling WD (2016) Pollen and spores as biological recorders of past ultraviolet irradiance. Scientific Reports. DOI: 10.1038/srep39269

Published open access:

Julier, A.C.M., Jardine, P.E., Coe, A.L., Gosling, W.D., Lomax, B.H. & Fraser, W.T. (2016) Chemotaxonomy as a tool for interpreting the cryptic diversity of Poaceae pollen. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 235, 140-147. DOI: 10.1016/j.revpalbo.2016.08.004

Linnean Society Palynology Specialist Group

November 17, 2015
WDG


Posted on behalf of Barry Lomax
Linnean Society Palynology Specialist Group meeting
Linnean Society of London
Tuesday 24 November 2015

Provisional program

10:30 – 11:00 Barry Thomas (Aberystwyth University). Ecological interpretations of Asturian and Cantabrian lycophyte microspore floras of the Variscan Foreland and the Appalachian Province of the Central Coalfields of the U.S.A

11:00 – 11:30 Adele Julier (Open University). Can FTIR spectroscopy be used to identify grass pollen?

Morning Coffee 11:30-12:00

12:00 – 12:30 Katrina Bakker (York University). Spore particles: new materials applications.

Lunch 12:30-14:00

14:00 – 14:30 Viktória Baranyi1 (Oslo Universiy). Morphology and wall-ultrastructure of Froelichsporites traversei, an enigmatic sporomorph from the Late Triassic in North America.

14:30 – 15:00 Hannah Banks (Royal Botanic Gardens Kew). Functional and phylogenetically useful structures in Caesalpinioid legume pollen.

15:00 – 15:30 Sam Slater (Sheffield University). A quantitative analysis of Middle Jurassic vegetation dynamics based on dispersed spore/pollen assemblages from the Ravenscar Group, North Yorkshire, UK.

Afternoon tea 15:30 – 16:00

16:00 – 16:30 Alex Askew (Sheffield University). A palynological investigation of the Middle Devonian of northern Spain: hunting for the Kačák event.

16:30 – 17:00 Phil Jardine (Open University). A new use for old pollen: reconstructing past solar irradiance using pollen chemistry.

Wine reception

To register please contact Barry Lomax (Group secretary)

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