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Green Plant Phylogeny Research Coordination Group

Russell L. Chapman btruss at UNIX1.SNCC.LSU.EDU
Thu May 2 08:29:28 EST 1996

Although of particular interest for plant biologists (including
phycologists working on green algae), the following item may be of interest
to investigators involved in similar morphological and molecular studies of
major taxonomic groups.                     Russ Chapman

Green Plant Phylogeny
Research Coordination Group
World Wide Web Site

        The Green Plant Phylogeny Research Coordination Group (GPPRCG) is
pleased to announce a World Wide Web site at:


        This website will provide the framework from which the GPPRCG will
keep the scientific community informed of its mission, upcoming meetings
and events, related websites, and most important, data matrices of interest
to anyone concerned with research involving the phylogenetic relationships
of green plants.  It will continue to be under construction, so stop in
frequently to check progress and contribute your own information.

        The GPPRCG, set up in September 1994, is sponsored by a grant from
the DOE/NSF/USDA Joint Program on Collaborative Research in Plant Biology
(USDA grant no. 94-37105-0713); the PIs are M.A. Buchheim, University of
Tulsa, R. L. Chapman, Louisiana State University, and B.D. Mishler,
University of California at Berkeley.  The aim of the group is to initiate
and facilitate interaction among independent research groups worldwide that
are interested in green plant phylogeny.  This initiative is based on the
insight that further progress in this area of research could greatly
benefit from a major collaborative effort to coordinate data collection by
establishing exemplars (selected key taxa) and suggesting characters to be
studied for each.  Therefore, the specific objectives of the  GPPRCG are:
1) coordinate data gathering, addressing both taxon and character sampling,
2) establish and manage morphological, molecular, and other relevant data
bases,  which will be made available to researchers, teachers, and
students, 3) stimulate creative approaches to investigating green plant
phylogeny , including novel approaches to data analysis and the handling of
large data sets, and 4) encourage collaborative research.

        Three GPPRCG workshops have already been held, with seven more
scheduled through 1999.  Each workshop has a different focus (the summary
of the first workshop is currently posted on the website; the others will
follow), and the meeting sites will alternate between major North American
scientific conferences and other venues.  Although the workshops themselves
must remain small because of budgetary and logistic constraints, wide
participation in the GPPRCG and coordination of research activity can be
achieved through the website.  Data availability tables for exemplar taxa
will soon provide a readily accessible and up-to-date summary of the
current knowledge of phylogenetically important plants.  These tables will
also highlight shortcomings or gaps in the data and thereby provide a guide
to researchers.

        The purpose of the GPPRCG is to encourage coordination of research
activity, but not to direct it; therefore, the group will not allocate
discreet tasks to individuals or labs, nor fund research projects  All
researchers interested in plant phylogeny are encouraged to participate
freely and equally by contributing results to the data availability tables.
Since only independently published data will end up in the final matrix,
each investigator will get credit for his or her own research.
Contributors to the matrix will be invited to participate in an edited
publication that will attempt a complete and well-supported high-level
phylogenetic analysis of green plants.  This publication will take the form
of a book which will include multiauthored chapters, along with the data
matrix in electronic form (with all contributors acknowledged).  This work
is scheduled for completion in time for presentation at the 1999
International Botanical Congress in St. Louis.  Interested individuals are
encouraged to investigate the GPPRCG website and contact the PIs:  M.A.
Buchheim (Buchheimma at Centum.utulsa.edu), R.L. Chapman
(BTRuss at unix1.sncc.lsu.edu), and B.D. Mishler
(bmishler at garnet.berkeley.edu).

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