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BRIAN ATKINSON CHARACTERIZES NEW FOSSIL CONIFER SPECIES

 

 This new species is particularly relevant to an initiative to clarify the overall pattern of conifer phylogeny using permineralized plant fossils. The specimens consist of two seed cones, one of which is attached to a leafy shoot. This study highlights the important role this conifer and other closely related species played in the initial evolutionary radiation of Cupressaceae during the Early Cretaceous (145-100 Ma). Furthermore, with recent findings in conifer regulatory genetics we hypothesize that expression in specific gene orthologues are responsible for the variation observed in seed cone morphology throughout the evolutionary history of Cupressaceae.

The new publication is entitled:

"Hughmillerites vancouverensis sp. nov. and the Cretaceous diversification of Cupressaceae." pdf