Charismatic megafauna may dominate the posters of conservation agencies, but charismatic megaFLORA are excellent and attention-grabbing taxa for esearching [sic] the ecology and volution [sic] of plants. Understanding the evolution and function of diversity in a group as large and varied as flowering plants requires evidence at many taxonomic, geographic, and temporal scales. I combine approaches from the microevolutionary to macroevolutionary scales to understand the history of two iconic plants: Protea of South Africa and Helianthus (sunflowers) of Texas. Using a combination of population genomics and phylogenomics, I find evidence for cryptic hybridization and species-level relationship in Protea that allow for a deeper understanding of trait evolution. I use experimental evolution to show that hybridization speeds adaptive evolution in Texas sunflowers, and phylogenetic comparative studies to place the role of hybridization in adaptive evolution in a larger context. Both of these systems allow for investigation into the mechanisms generating the astonishing diversity of plants.
Department of Biology Seminar by Nora Mitchell, Assistant Professor at University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire, Friday, October 16, 2020, at 3:00 pm on Zoom, hosted by: Dr. Briana Gross
Department of Biology
Mitchell, Nora; University of Minnesota Duluth. Department of Biology.
Evolution and hybridization: Tales from charismatic megaflora (2020-10-16).
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