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  • South African flowers.

    Plants adapt to accommodate a long proboscis in South Africa.

    Our Grant-Stebbins week continues. Today it’s a question of looking at the geographical context of floral adaptations. Why might you find a plant here and not there? Is it the pollinators that cause it? Matching floral and pollinator traits through guild convergence and pollinator ecotype formation by Ethan Newman, John Manning and Bruce Anderson examines […] More

  • Gymnadenia odoratissima

    Floral adaptation to pollinator guilds in Switzerland

    Pollinator-driven speciation week continues, with Floral adaptation to local pollinator guilds in a terrestrial orchid, a paper by Sun, Gross and Schiestl. The star is the orchid Gymnadenia odoratissima, and orchid found in lowland temperate Europe and up in the mountains. It flowers between June and mid-August. Unlike the orchids yesterday, these flowers offer a […] More

  • Rainbow rose

    Can the Grant-Stebbins model explain where all the flowers come from?

    Valentine’s Day is coming, and many people are looking for the right flower to express their feelings, though it’s hard to beat a multi-coloured rose. But where do all the different sorts of flowers come from? The Grant-Stebbins model suggests that pollinators drive speciation. Shifts in pollinators cause angiosperms (flowering plants) to adapt and form […] More

  • in

    Do pollinators drive the evolution of flowers?

    Angiosperms, the flowering plants, are the astonishingly diverse. But what drives the selection pressures to create this diversity? One explanation is the Grant-Stebbins model. This model looks at pollination as a selection process. Many flowers need pollinators. If there are no pollinators, the plants don’t get pollinated and they have no offspring. It means that plants […] More

  • Sexual organ reciprocity in distylous primroses

    Sexual organ reciprocity in distylous primroses

    The main morphological characteristic of heterostyly is the reciprocal placement of anthers and stigmas in two distinct floral morphs; however, the partitioning of reciprocity within and between closely related species remains unknown. Keller et al. examine six floral traits in both floral morphs of 15 allopatric populations of Primula elatior, P. veris and P. vulgaris, and […] More

  • New taxonomy of Brachypodium distachyon

    New taxonomy of Brachypodium distachyon

    The model grass species Brachypodium distachyon has three cytotypes that are currently regarded as part of a single species. Catalán et al. combine analysis of phenotypic traits with multiple cytogenetic analyses and detect significant differences between the cytotypes and demonstrate stability of characters in natural populations. Genome size estimations, GISH, FISH and CCP confirm that the […] More

  • Progenitor–derivative speciation in Pozoa

    Progenitor–derivative speciation in Pozoa

    Progenitor–derivative speciation occurs when an isolated peripheral population diverges from the ancestral condition and forms a derivative species. López et al. find evidence of this type of speciation in the genus Pozoa (Apiaceae), consisting of two species endemic to the southern Andes. Pozoa volcanica appears to have derived recently from the progenitor, P. coriacea, as […] More

  • TcCRP1 as a pollen-tube attractant in Torenia

    TcCRP1 as a pollen-tube attractant in Torenia

    A key factor of pollen-tube attraction to an ovule is that it is species-specific, and recently a family of secreted proteins with attractant properties has been discovered in Torenia fournieri. Kanaoka et al. study TcCRP1, an orthologous gene of TfCRP1 from T. concolor, and find it is expressed predominantly in the synergid cell. The gene product […] More

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