Uncorrelated evolution of leaf and petal venation patterns across the angiosperm phylogeny

Roddy, Adam B., Guilliams, C. Matt, Lilittham, Terapan, Farmer, Jessica, Wormser, Vanessa, Pham, Trang, Fine, Paul V.A., Feild, Taylor S., and Dawson, Todd E. (2013) Uncorrelated evolution of leaf and petal venation patterns across the angiosperm phylogeny. Journal of Experimental Botany, 64 (13). pp. 4081-4088.

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Early angiosperm evolution, beginning approximately 140 million years ago, saw many innovations that enabled flowering plants to alter ecosystems globally. These included the development of novel, flower-based pollinator attraction mechanisms and the development of increased water transport capacity in stems and leaves. Vein length per area (VLA) of leaves increased nearly threefold in the first 30–40 million years of angiosperm evolution, increasing the capacity for transpiration and photosynthesis. In contrast to leaves, high water transport capacities in flowers may not be an advantage because flowers do not typically contribute to plant carbon gain. Although flowers of extant basal angiosperms are hydrated by the xylem, flowers of more recently derived lineages may be hydrated predominantly by the phloem. In the present study, we measured leaf and flower VLA for a phylogenetically diverse sample of 132 species from 52 angiosperm families to ask (i) whether flowers have lower VLA than leaves, (ii) whether flowers of basal angiosperm lineages have higher VLA than more recently derived lineages because of differences between xylem and phloem hydration, and (iii) whether flower and leaf VLA evolved independently. It was found that floral structures had lower VLA than leaves, but basal angiosperm flowers did not have higher VLA than more derived lineages. Furthermore, the independent evolution of leaf and petal VLA suggested that these organs may be developmentally modular. Unlike leaves, which have experienced strong selection for increased water transport capacity, flowers may have been shielded from such selective pressures by different developmental processes controlling VLA throughout the plant bauplan.

Item ID: 30265
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1460-2431
Keywords: Angiosperms, floral evolution, hydraulics, vein density
Funders: Jepson Herbarium, University of California, Berkley, National Science Foundation (NSF)
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2013 05:28
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0607 Plant Biology > 060705 Plant Physiology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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