Feb 13, 2015

Selection constrains phenotypic evolution in a functionally important plant trait

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Christopher D Muir

Abstract

A long-standing idea is that the macroevolutionary adaptive landscape – a ‘map’ of phenotype to fitness – constrains evolution because certain phenotypes are fit, while others are universally unfit. Such constraints should be evident in traits that, across many species, cluster around particular modal values, with few intermediates between modes. Here, I compile a new global database of 599 species from 94 plant families showing that stomatal ratio, an important functional trait affecting photosynthesis, is multimodal, hinting at distinct peaks in the adaptive landscape. The dataset confirms that most plants have all their stomata on the lower leaf surface (hypostomy), but shows for the first time that species with roughly half their stomata on each leaf surface (amphistomy) form a distinct mode in the trait distribution. Based on a new evolutionary process model, this multimodal pattern is unlikely without constraint. Further, multimodality has evolved repeatedly across disparate families, evincing long-term constraint on the adaptive landscape. A simple cost-benefit model of stomatal ratio demonstrates that selection alone is sufficient to generate an adaptive landscape with multiple peaks. Finally, phylogenetic comparative m...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Microtubule-Associated Proteins
MUTYH-Associate Polyposis
SGSM3 gene
Phylogenetic Analysis
Adaptation
Combined Modality Therapy
Surgical Stoma
Species
Methionyl Aminopeptidase Activity
Surface

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