Plant Molecular Evolution

Plant evolution is the subset of evolutionary phenomena that concern plants. Evolutionary phenomena are characteristics of populations that are described by averages, medians, distributions, and other statistical methods. This distinguishes plant evolution from plant development, a branch of developmental biology which concerns the changes that individuals go through in their lives. The study of plant evolution attempts to explain how the present diversity of plants arose over geologic time. It includes the study of genetic change and the consequent variation that often results in speciation, one of the most important types of radiation into taxonomic groups called clades. A description of radiation is called a phylogeny and is often represented by type of diagram called a phylogenetic tree.

Rates of molecular evolution have a central role in our understanding of many aspects of species’ biology. The most common application is to evolve enzymes with improved kinetics, altered substrate or product specificities, or improved function in different cellular environments. The technique is beginning to be applied to goals relevant to agriculture. Recent examples include the generation of novel carotenoids, enhanced herbicide detoxification, and the improvement of insect resistance genes.

 

  • Plant molecular phylogenetics
  • Genetic changes in plant
  • Genome evolution
  • Polypoidy
  • Disease resistance

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