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Convergence in carnivorous pitcher plants reveals a mechanism for composite trait evolution.

Chomicki, Guillaume; Burin, Gustavo; Busta, Lucas; Gozdzik, Jedrzej; Jetter, Reinhard; Mortimer, Beth; Bauer, Ulrike

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Authors

Gustavo Burin

Lucas Busta

Jedrzej Gozdzik

Reinhard Jetter

Beth Mortimer

Ulrike Bauer



Abstract

Composite traits involve multiple components that, only when combined, gain a new synergistic function. Thus, how they evolve remains a puzzle. We combined field experiments, microscopy, chemical analyses, and laser Doppler vibrometry with comparative phylogenetic analyses to show that two carnivorous pitcher plant species independently evolved similar adaptations in three distinct traits to acquire a new, composite trapping mechanism. Comparative analyses suggest that this new trait arose convergently through "spontaneous coincidence" of the required trait combination, rather than directional selection in the component traits. Our results indicate a plausible mechanism for composite trait evolution and highlight the importance of stochastic phenotypic variation as a facilitator of evolutionary novelty.

Citation

Chomicki, G., Burin, G., Busta, L., Gozdzik, J., Jetter, R., Mortimer, B., & Bauer, U. (2024). Convergence in carnivorous pitcher plants reveals a mechanism for composite trait evolution. Science, 383(6678), 108-113. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.ade0529

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 7, 2023
Online Publication Date Jan 4, 2024
Publication Date Jan 4, 2024
Deposit Date Apr 11, 2024
Publicly Available Date Apr 19, 2024
Journal Science
Print ISSN 0036-8075
Publisher American Association for the Advancement of Science
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 383
Issue 6678
Pages 108-113
DOI https://doi.org/10.1126/science.ade0529
Keywords Phylogeny, Microscopy, Carnivory
Public URL https://durham-repository.worktribe.com/output/2151701

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