Palaeobiology: The missing link in Ginkgo evolution

  title={Palaeobiology: The missing link in Ginkgo evolution},
  author={Zhiyan Zhou and Shaolin Zheng},
The maidenhair tree, or Ginkgo, is a gymnosperm that has been described as a 'living fossil' because it is known to have existed early in the Jurassic period 170 million years (Myr) ago, but a full understanding of its evolution has been impeded by a gap in the fossil record of more than 100 Myr — a crucial period during which the modern ovulate organs evolved from the Jurassic type. Here we describe a new Ginkgo fossil that was collected from the Lower Cretaceous fossil Lagerstätte (the Yixian… Expand
A Jurassic wood providing insights into the earliest step in Ginkgo wood evolution
A new fossil wood from the Mid-Late Jurassic transition deposit (153–165 Myr) of northeastern China is reported, which very probably represents the oldest bona fide fossil Ginkgo wood and the missing ancestral form of GinkGo wood evolution. Expand
A new mesozoic Ginkgo from western Liaoning, China and its evolutionary significance
Well-preserved Ginkgo ovulate organs and associated leaves are described from the fossil-bearing Yixian Formation of the Late Jurassic or Early Cretaceous in Liaoning Province, China. The ovulateExpand
Palaeoginkgoxylon zhoui, a new ginkgophyte wood from the Guadalupian (Permian) of China and its evolutionary implications
The anatomical structure of the new woody tree trunk resembles both the early gymnosperms of Eristophyton-Pitus types and the modern Ginkgo, and is interpreted as representing a transitional stage in the evolution of Gink go from early arborescent lignophytes since the Early Carboniferous. Expand
Polyploidy in a 'living fossil' Ginkgo biloba.
This polyploid sapling originated from the seeds collected from three female trees grown in the Botanical Garden of the Faculty of Science, Masaryk University in Brno (Czech Republic), indicating that it is tetraploid. Expand
Ginkgo biloba’s footprint of dynamic Pleistocene history dates back only 390,000 years ago
The hypothesis that during the Pleistocene cooling periods G. biloba expanded its distribution range in China repeatedly is elaborated and present-day directional West-East admixture of genetic diversity is shown to be the result of pronounced effects of the last cooling period. Expand
An unexpected noncarpellate epigynous flower from the Jurassic of China
Evidence of an actinomorphic flower with a dendroid style, cup-form receptacle, and angiospermy, is consistent with Nanjinganthus being a bona fide angiosperm from the Jurassic, an inference that it is hoped will re-invigorate research intoAngiosperm origins. Expand
A Study of Ginkgo Leaves from the Middle Jurassic of Inner Mongolia, China1
Three Ginkgo leaf types collected from the Middle Jurassic Zhaogou Formation of Shiguai coal‐bearing basin in Inner Mongolia, China are described for the first time on the basis of their leaf morphology and well‐preserved cuticular characters. Expand
The pollen cones of Ginkgo from the Early Cretaceous of China, and their bearing on the evolutionary significance
A well-preserved pollen cone of the genus Ginkgo was found in the Yixian Formation of Liaoning Province, China, and is described as the new species G. liaoningensis, which supports the reduction hypothesis of ovule organs in Gink go, with the number of sporangia having experienced the process of reduction from three or four to two since the Early Cretaceous. Expand
Flower-Related Fossils from the Jurassic
Schmeissneria, Xingxueanthus and Solaranthus are three female or bisexual organs of plants found in the Middle Jurassic in China and the Early Jurassic in Europe that demonstrate the existence of enclosed ovule in the organ, satisfying the criterion for angiosperms. Expand
A new Ginkgo from the Lower Cretaceous of Liaoning, Northeast China and its evolutionary implications
Abstract A new species of Ginkgo L., G. pediculata sp. nov., is described from the Lower Cretaceous of Liaoning Province, Northeast China, on the basis of a well-preserved ovule-bearing organ. TheExpand


Fossils and Phenology in the Evolution of Ginkgo biloba
A cladistic analysis of the fossil record for a clade that is monotypic in the modern flora and for which there may be no natural populations in the wild places Ginkgo below all or nearly all other living species on the seed-plant tree. Expand
Size and shape in ontogeny and phylogeny
A quantitative method for describing how heterochronic changes in ontogeny relate to phyletic trends is presented, and a greatly simplified and logical scheme of classification is obtained that will be particularly useful in studying the data of paleontology and comparative morphology. Expand
The Yorkshire Jurassic Flora IV: Ginkgoales and Czekanowskiales (Br
  • Mus. Nat. Hist.,
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The Yorkshire Jurassic Flora IV: Ginkgoales and Czekanowskiales (Br. Mus
  • Nat. Hist
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Supplementary information accompanies this communication on Nature's website. Competing financial interests: declared none