Special Perspectives

Selection on Major Components of Angiosperm Genomes

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Science  25 Apr 2008:
Vol. 320, Issue 5875, pp. 484-486
DOI: 10.1126/science.1153586

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Angiosperms are a relatively recent evolutionary innovation, but their genome sizes have diversified remarkably since their origin, at a rate beyond that of most other taxa. Genome size is often correlated with plant growth and ecology, and extremely large genomes may be limited both ecologically and evolutionarily. Yet the relationship between genome size and natural selection remains poorly understood. The manifold cellular and physiological effects of large genomes may be a function of selection on the major components that contribute to genome size, such as transposable elements and gene duplication. To understand the nature of selection on these genomic components, both population-genetic and comparative approaches are needed.

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