Limnanthes: looking for an interesting project?

Adolf Ceska aceska at VICTORIA.TC.CA
Mon Jan 29 01:19:58 CST 2001


My botanical colleagues,

If you are running around with an empty Eppendorf pipette, here are a few
interesting projects for you:

1) Small:  Limnanthes macounii was considered an endemic species in
southern parts of Vancouver Island until it was found in huge quantities
in a field of brussels sprouts S of San Francisco (Madrono 45[1998]: 184;
BEN # 225 [1999] at http://www.ou.edu/cas/botany-micro/ben/). Californian
plants seem to be slightly different than those on Vancouver Island, but
they are well fertilized and their only competition is chickweed
(Stellaria media). It would be interesting to see if and how their genes
differ.

2) Medium: The genus Limnanthes has about 9 species that grow mostly in
California and Oregon.  Some species have interesting infraspecific
taxa. Some Limnanthes species are selfers, others outcrossers, some are
extremely rare, others quite common. In addition, a closely related
monotypic genus Floerkea occurs across USA (and in southern parts of
Canada). There have been several doctoral theses written on various
aspects of Limnanthes at the UC Davis, UC Berkeley and the University of
British Columbia. As far as I know, nobody has worked on the molecular
phyllogeny of this group.

3) Large: The family Limnanthaceae is placed to the order Geraniales,
because it does not fit anywhere else. Some people would like to see it in
Sapindales, some mention a similarity with Celastrales. It's possible that
somebody has already plugged it somewhere in the cladograms and I have
overlooked it, so please, tell me if you know more.

I have no Eppendorf pipette nor the money to buy one, but if I were to
start my botany studies over again I would pursue at least one of these
projects.

All the best luck,

Adolf Ceska

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e-mail: aceska at victoria.tc.ca
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