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Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2005 Feb;8(1):13-8.

Evolutionary dynamics of genes controlling floral development.

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  • 1Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, 16 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA.


Advances in the understanding of floral developmental genetics in model species such as Arabidopsis continue to provide an important foundation for comparative studies in other flowering plants. In particular, floral organ identity genes are the focus of many projects that are addressing both ancient and recent evolutionary questions. Expanded analyses of the evolution of these gene lineages have highlighted the dynamic nature of the gene birth-and-death process, and may have significant implications for the evolution of genetic pathways. Crucial functional studies of floral organ identity genes in diverse taxa are allowing the first real insight into the conservation of gene function, while findings on the genetic control of organ elaboration offer to open up new avenues for investigation. Taken together, these trends show that the field of floral developmental evolution continues to make significant progress towards elucidating the processes that have shaped the evolution of flower development and morphology.

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