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Applications of Paper Chromatography to Systematics: Recombination of Parental Biochemical Components in a Baptisia Hybrid Population


SEVERAL years ago, Gibbs,1 summarizing contributions of biochemistry to plant taxonomy, recognized the importance of the then relatively new techniques of paper chromatography and forecast their wide application, to systematics. Although a number of workers have applied chromatographic techniques to taxonomic problems in both botany and zoology2, the use of these techniques is not nearly commensurate with their potential value, perhaps because the cooperation of taxonomists and persons trained in biochemical analysis has been slow to develop. The present communication constitutes a brief description of work currently under way which is to be reported in greater detail elsewhere;3 the chomatographic analysis of individuals from a natural hybrid swarm of Baptisia laevicaulis × B. viridis (family Leguminosae), and correlation of these data with a similar analysis of the parental species collected in pure populations. Three other species of Baptisia were also examined chromatographically. Since this genus contains about 30 species of wide occurrence in the eastern United States, and hybridization among these species is common, it is highly probable that the scope of the present investigation will be extended. In this study we were particularly concerned with the recombination of biochemical components peculiar to each parental species among the hybrid and back-crossed individuals.

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ALSTON, R., TURNER, B. Applications of Paper Chromatography to Systematics: Recombination of Parental Biochemical Components in a Baptisia Hybrid Population. Nature 184, 285–286 (1959).

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