Abstract Detail

Innovation and Novelty in the Evolution of Plants

Parins Fukuchi, Caroline Tomomi [1], Beaulieu, Jeremy [2].

Innovation and Novelty in the Evolution of Plants.

Plants are a font of biological novelty. The spectacular diversity of plant phenotypes has emerged through repeated periods of extraordinary evolutionary innovation, often appearing suddenly and discontinuously in time. Evolutionary biology is fundamentally focused on understanding innovations and their relationship with shifts in complexity, diversification, genome evolution, expansion into new niches. Nevertheless, we still lack a clear view of the processes that generate them. Plants occupy a particularly unique position in the discussion of novelty because phenotypic innovations that emerged throughout their history (e.g., photosynthesis, seeds, flowers) have dramatically altered ecosystems and shaped broad events in the biological and geological history of Earth. These features have frequently emerged rapidly, during sudden, temporally-contracted bursts of novelty that yield extreme evolutionary epochs. While a substantial body of work exploring the developmental, adaptive, and genetic causes and consequences of novelty exists in animals, comparatively little work has been done in plants. This is a particularly egregious gap given the uniqueness of plant ontogenies, life histories, and ecological roles relative to the rest of the tree of life. Understanding what causes these lineage-defining, sudden bursts in phenotypic novelty will require contributions from all areas of botanical knowledge to link broad patterns in trait innovation at the phylogenetic scale to processes that occur at the organismal and population scales. The talks included here bring new data, methods, and theory toward the understanding of how complex traits have arisen across major plant radiations. Featuring diverse speakers across disciplines, including phylogenetics, paleobiology, developmental biology, biochemistry, and genomics, this symposium will contribute toward the synthesis of a holistic understanding of the processes driving the emergence of biological innovation across the plant radiation.

1 - University of Toronto, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 25 Willcocks Street, 3049 Earth Sciences Centre, Toronto, ON, M5S3B2, Canada
2 - University Of Arkansas, Department Of Biological Sciences, 601 SCEN, Fayetteville, AR, 72702, United States

none specified

Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Number: C6SUM
Abstract ID:1261
Candidate for Awards:None

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