How have advances in comparative floral development influenced our understanding of floral evolution?

Change log
Glover, BJ 
Airoldi, CA 
Brockington, SF 
Fernández-Mazuecos, M 
Martínez-Pérez, C 

Evolutionary developmental biology has come to prominence in the past two decades, in both the plant kingdom and the animal kingdom, particularly following the description of homeotic genes linked to key morphological transitions. A primary goal of evolutionary developmental biology (“evo-devo”) is to define how developmental programs are modified to generate novel or labile morphologies. This requires an understanding of the molecular genetic basis of these programs and of the evolutionary changes they have undergone. The past decade has seen the establishment of a common language and common standards, and these changes have greatly improved the integration of evo-devo. Recently, a more comparative approach has been added to mechanistic developmental biology. In this review we attempt to show how, by using this “next-generation evo-devo” approach, insights into both developmental biology and evolutionary biology can be gained. Although the concepts we discuss are more broadly applicable, we have focused our examples on traits of the angiosperm flower, a structure that has undergone enormous morphological and developmental evolution since its relatively recent appearance in the fossil record.

angiosperm, convergent evolution, evo-devo homoplasy, novel trait, parallel evolution, petal
Journal Title
International Journal of Plant Sciences
Conference Name
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Chicago Press
Natural Environment Research Council (NE/K009303/1)
Work in the Glover laboratory on these topics is funded by the BBSRC, EU Marie Curie Actions, Isaac Newton Trust, Leverhulme Trust, NERC and the NSF, and we gratefully acknowledge all support.