Tuesday, October 03, 2006

 

How did bilaterally symmetric flowers evolve from radially symmetric ones?

How did bilaterally symmetric flowers evolve from radially symmetric ones? To address this important question, geneticists Francisco Perfectti and Juan Pedro M. Camacho, and ecologist Jose M. Gomez (Universidad de Granada, Spain) explored how different flower shapes affected plant fitness in natural populations of Erysimum mediohispanicum, a Mediterranean herb. Their findings will be published in the October issue of The American Naturalist.

The researchers found that plants bearing bilaterally symmetrical flowers were more visited by pollinators and had higher fitness, measured by both the number of seeds produced per plant and the number of seeds surviving to the juvenile stage, than plants with radially symmetric flowers. [Bilateral, Radial, Symmetry, Ecology, Evolution, Genetics]
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Based on "Natural Selection on Erysimum mediohispanicum Flower Shape: Insights into the Evolution of Zygomorphy" (Abstract)

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