Developmental control of convergent floral pigmentation across evolutionary timescales

Larter, Maximilian; Dunbar‐Wallis, Amy; Berardi, Andrea E.; Smith, Stacey D. (2019). Developmental control of convergent floral pigmentation across evolutionary timescales. Developmental dynamics, 248(11), pp. 1091-1100. John Wiley & Sons 10.1002/dvdy.82

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Background Convergent phenotypic evolution has been widely documented across timescales, from populations, to species, to major lineages. The extent to which convergent phenotypes arise from convergent genetic and developmental mechanisms remains an open question, although studies to‐date reveal examples of both similar and different underlying mechanisms. This variation likely relates to a range of factors, including the genetic architecture of the trait and selective filtering of mutations over time. Here we focus on floral pigmentation, and examine the degree of developmental convergence between white‐flowered lineages and white morphs within pigmented species. Results Using the model clade Iochrominae, we find that white morphs and white‐flowered species are biochemically convergent, sharing an absence of colorful anthocyanin pigments. Regression analyses suggest that the expression levels of upstream genes are the strongest drivers of total pigmentation across species, although white species also show sharp down‐regulation of the downstream genes. The white morphs do not share this pattern and present overall expression profiles more similar to the pigmented species. Conclusions These results suggest that the mechanisms underlying variation within populations differ from those which give rise to fixed differences between species. Future work will aim to uncover the genetic changes responsible for this developmental non‐convergence.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Plant Development
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

Berardi, Andrea Elise


500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)




John Wiley & Sons




Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

07 Aug 2019 08:22

Last Modified:

05 Nov 2019 15:14

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

anthocyanin, convergence, flavonol, PGLS, principal component analysis, qPCR




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