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Nat Rev Genet. 2003 Jul;4(7):559-66.

An evolutionary scenario for the origin of flowers.

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  • Department of Botany, The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD, UK. m.frohlich@nhm.ac.uk


The Mostly Male theory is the first to use evidence from gene phylogenies, genetics, modern plant morphology and fossils to explain the evolutionary origin of flowers. It proposes that flower organization derives more from the male structures of ancestral gymnosperms than from female structures. The theory arose from a hypothesis-based study. Such studies are the most likely to generate testable evolutionary scenarios, which should be the ultimate goal of evo-devo.

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