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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2007 Dec;17(6):500-4. Epub 2007 Nov 19.

Arabidopsis: a model genus for speciation.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, 72076, Tübingen, Germany.


What genetic and epigenetic changes underlie adaptation and divergence? Arabidopsis thaliana and its relatives are increasingly being employed to address such central questions of evolutionary biology. For example, comparative, genomic and classical genetic approaches are revealing mechanisms underlying processes relevant to speciation, including mating system evolution, the effects of ploidy and other chromosomal differences, and the roles that specific genes might play in Dobzhansky-Muller type incompatibilities. The considerable body of knowledge and resources available for A. thaliana and improvements in tools and technology applied to its close relatives are opening doors for combining experimental and comparative analyses to elucidate fundamental mechanisms of evolution.

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