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Curr Biol. 2019 Nov 4;29(21):R1110-R1118. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2019.09.044.

Reconstructing trait evolution in plant evo-devo studies.

Author information

1
Laboratoire de Recherche en Sciences Végétales, Université de Toulouse, CNRS, UPS, Castanet-Tolosan, France. Electronic address: pierre-marc.delaux@lrsv.ups-tlse.fr.
2
Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3RB, UK.
3
Laboratoire Reproduction et Développement des Plantes, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, CNRS, INRA, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, INRIA, 46 Allée d'Italie, Lyon, 69007, France.
4
CBMG, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA.
5
Laboratoire de Recherche en Sciences Végétales, Université de Toulouse, CNRS, UPS, Castanet-Tolosan, France.
6
Institute for Molecular Evolution, Heinrich Heine University, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany.
7
Department of Earth Sciences, The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD, UK.
8
Boyce Thompson Institute, Ithaca, NY, USA; Plant Biology Section, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA.
9
Centre de Théorisation et de Modélisation de la Biodiversité, Station d'Écologie Théorique et Expérimentale, UMR CNRS 5321, Moulis, France; Département de Biochimie, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada.
10
Plant Cell Biology, Faculty of Biology, University of Marburg, 35043 Marburg, Germany; BIOSS Centre for Biological Signalling Studies, University Freiburg, Germany; SYNMIKRO Research Center, University of Marburg, 35043 Marburg, Germany.
11
Department of Earth Sciences, The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD, UK; Institut de Systématique, Évolution, Biodiversité, UMR 7205, Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France.
12
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2, Canada; Institute of Microbiology, Technische Universitaet Braunschweig, 38106 Braunschweig, Germany; Institute for Microbiology and Genetics, Bioinformatics, University of Göttingen, Goldschmidtstr. 1, 37077 Göttingen, Germany.

Abstract

Our planet is teeming with an astounding diversity of plants. In a mere single group of closely related species, tremendous diversity can be observed in their form and function - the colour of petals in flowering plants, the shape of the fronds in ferns, and the branching pattern of the gametophyte in mosses. Diversity can also be found in subtler traits, such as the resistance to pathogens or the ability to recruit symbiotic microbes from the environment. Plant traits can also be highly conserved - at the cellular and metabolic levels, entire biosynthetic pathways are present in all plant groups, and morphological characteristics such as vascular tissues have been conserved for hundreds of millions of years. The research community that seeks to understand these traits - both the diverse and the conserved - by taking an evolutionary point-of-view on plant biology is growing. Here, we summarize a subset of the different aspects of plant evolutionary biology, provide a guide for structuring comparative biology approaches and discuss the pitfalls that (plant) researchers should avoid when embarking on such studies.

PMID:
31689391
DOI:
10.1016/j.cub.2019.09.044

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