Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Commun. 2017 Aug 1;8:16047. doi: 10.1038/ncomms16047.

The ancestral flower of angiosperms and its early diversification.

Author information

1
Laboratoire Écologie, Systématique, Évolution, Université Paris-Sud, CNRS UMR 8079, Orsay 91405, France.
2
Department of Botany and Biodiversity Research, University of Vienna, Rennweg 14, Vienna 1030, Austria.
3
Instituto de Biología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Circuito Exterior, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán, México City 04510, México.
4
Department of Evolution and Ecology, University of California, Davis, California 95616, USA.
5
Department of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, University of Zurich, Zurich 8008, Switzerland.
6
School of Biological Sciences, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX, UK.
7
Departamento de Ecología, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Alameda 340, Santiago, Chile.
8
Systematic Botany and Mycology, Department of Biology, University of Munich LMU, Munich 80638, Germany.
9
Institut de Systématique, Evolution, Biodiversité, Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, UMR 7205 ISYEB MNHN/CNRS/UPMC/EPHE, 57 rue Cuvier, CP39, Paris 75005, France.
10
Laboratório de Sistemática Vegetal, Instituto de Biociências, Universidade de São Paulo, Rua do Matão, 277. Cidade Universitária, São Paulo 05508-090, Brazil.
11
School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales 2006, Australia.
12
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 20A Inverleith Row, Edinburgh EH3 5LR, UK.
13
Institute of Microbiology, ETH Zurich, Zurich 8093, Switzerland.
14
Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa 1749-016, Portugal.
15
Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, 26 Oxford Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA.
16
Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Carl Skottsbergs gata 22B, Göteborg 413 19, Sweden.
17
School of Biological Sciences, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong, China.

Abstract

Recent advances in molecular phylogenetics and a series of important palaeobotanical discoveries have revolutionized our understanding of angiosperm diversification. Yet, the origin and early evolution of their most characteristic feature, the flower, remains poorly understood. In particular, the structure of the ancestral flower of all living angiosperms is still uncertain. Here we report model-based reconstructions for ancestral flowers at the deepest nodes in the phylogeny of angiosperms, using the largest data set of floral traits ever assembled. We reconstruct the ancestral angiosperm flower as bisexual and radially symmetric, with more than two whorls of three separate perianth organs each (undifferentiated tepals), more than two whorls of three separate stamens each, and more than five spirally arranged separate carpels. Although uncertainty remains for some of the characters, our reconstruction allows us to propose a new plausible scenario for the early diversification of flowers, leading to new testable hypotheses for future research on angiosperms.

PMID:
28763051
PMCID:
PMC5543309
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms16047
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center