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Genome downsizing, physiological novelty, and the global dominance of flowering plants [PLOS Biology]

Subject Areas : flowering plants, stomata, gymnosperms, leaf veins, ferns, plant genomics, phylogenetics, leaves

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

The abrupt origin and rapid diversification of the flowering plants during the Cretaceous has long been considered an “abominable mystery.” While the cause of their high diversity has been attributed largely to coevolution with pollinators and herbivores, their ability to outcompete the previously dominant ferns and gymnosperms has been the subject of many hypotheses. Common among these is that the angiosperms alone developed leaves with smaller, more numerous stomata and more highly branching venation networks that enable higher rates of transpiration, photosynthesis, and growth. Yet, how angiosperms pack their leaves with smaller, more abundant stomata and more veins is unknown but linked (...)

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