Evolution of Floral Symmetry
Flowers can be classified into two basic types according to their symmetry: regular flowers have more than one plane of symmetry and irregular flowers have only a single plane of symmetry. The irregular condition is thought to have evolved many times independently from the regular one: most commonly through the appearance of asymmetry along the dorso-ventral axis of the flower. In most cases, the irregular condition is associated with a particular type of inflorescence architecture. To understand the molecular mechanism and evolutionary origin of irregular flowers, we have been investigating genes controlling asymmetry in Antirrhinum. Several mutations have been described in Antirrhinum, a species with irregular flowers, that reduce or eliminate asymmetry along the dorso-ventral axis. We describe the nature of these mutations and how they may be used to analyse the molecular mechanisms underlying floral evolution.
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B
- Pub Date:
- October 1995