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“Bringing Taxonomy to the Service of Genetics”: Edgar Anderson and Introgressive Hybridization

Authors
  • Kleinman, Kim1
  • 1 Webster University/Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, USA , St. Louis (United States)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of the History of Biology
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Publication Date
Feb 11, 2016
Volume
49
Issue
4
Pages
603–624
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s10739-016-9436-9
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

In introgressive hybridization (the repeated backcrossing of hybrids with parental populations), Edgar Anderson found a source for variation upon which natural selection could work. In his 1953 review article “Introgressive Hybridization,” he asserted that he was “bringing taxonomy to the service of genetics” whereas distinguished colleagues such as Theodosius Dobzhansky and Ernst Mayr did the precise opposite. His work as a geneticist particularly focused on linkage and recombination and was enriched by collaborations with Missouri Botanical Garden colleagues interested in taxonomy as well as with cytologists C.D. Darlington and Karl Sax. As the culmination of a biosystemtatic research program, Anderson’s views challenged the mainstream of the Evolutionary Synthesis.

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