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  • Study rewrites the evolutionary history of C4 grasses

    A study led by University of Illinois plant biology professor Feng Sheng Hu (right), with graduate student Michael Urban, used a spooling-wire micro-combustion device (pictured) coupled with an isotope mass spectrometer to analyze individual grains of grass pollen to determine the age of C4 grasses. The study pushed back the origin of C4 plants by millions of years.

    A study led by University of Illinois plant biology professor Feng Sheng Hu (right), with graduate student Michael Urban, used a spooling-wire micro-combustion device (pictured) coupled with an isotope mass spectrometer to analyze individual grains of grass pollen to determine the age of C4 grasses. The study pushed back the origin of C4 plants by millions of years.

    Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

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  • Editor's note: To reach Feng Sheng Hu, call 217-244-2982; e-mail fhu@illinois.edu. The paper,"Isotopic Evidence of C4 Grasses in Southwestern Europe During the Early Oligocene-Middle Miocene," is available online and from the U. of I. News Bureau.