HMB200H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Leavenworthia, Acrylamide, Plant Breeding

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9 Feb 2013
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Lecture Three David Lloyd
FRS ( fellow of the Royal Society), FRSNZ (Fellow of the Royal Society New Zealand)
Natural historian and founder of the modern theory of plant reproduction
Developed the conceptual framework of plant biology and reproduction
He was the leading theoretician in the world
Most plant biology was imperial (descriptive), he want to change this
Born a twin and son of a dairy farmer in New Zealand
In school, he was more into physics; no indication of a liking for biology. The dairy farm could have
contributed
His twin brother became an Economics Professor
Obtained a degree in Botany at the university of Canterbury
Won a scholarship to Harvard university
Went to Harvard to work on genetics, but did not like it
Did his PhD thesis on the evolution of selfing Leavenworthia
Took a course by Ernst Myer and was inspired, as well by E.O. Willson. Decided to go into evolution
Returns to New Zealand and obtains a faculty position at Chritchurch and stays there for the
remainder of his career
Only trained 8 grad students; liked working on his own
Elected to FRS
Admitted to hospital in a coma and was blind and paralyzed until his death
Former partner Victoria Calder charged with poisoning Lloyd with acrylamide monomer (found in
Victoria’s lab, used for gels) but was acquitted after two trials
Distinguished for his experimental and theoretical studies of sexuality in flowering plants and its cost
and benefits
o Brother who was an economists, looked at the cost/benefits theory/ David used this to relate
it to plants
Lloyd’s Main Contributions:
Cross- and self-fertilization
Gender strategies and the evolution of sexual systems
Allocation strategies
Floral mechanisms and sexual interference
Evolution of heterostyly
Why care about flowers?
They are the reproductive organs of angiosperms
Exhibit greater variety than equivalent reproductive structures of any other species
Relevant to many applied areas: plant breeding, horticulture, biotech, conservation, etc.
Provide outstanding examples of evolution and adaptation
Darwin spent most of his time on plants, wrote six books on them
Self- and cross-fertilization
David was interested with self-fertilization
Cross-fertilization leads to increase in genetic diversity
Certain species of flower is evolving to selfing they are getting rid of big displays since they do not
need to attract pollinators
Small plants are able to self because their sex organs touch
Probably resulted because of little pollinators around
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