Senecio as a model system for integrating studies of genotype, phenotype and fitness
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Two major developments have made it possible to use examples of ecological radiations as model systems to understand evolution and ecology. First, the integration of quantitative genetics with ecological experiments allows detailed connections to be made between genotype, phenotype and fitness in the field. Second, dramatic advances in molecular genetics have created new possibilities for integrating field and laboratory experiments with detailed genetic sequencing. Combining these approaches allows evolutionary biologists to better study the interplay between genotype, phenotype and fitness to explore a wide range of evolutionary processes. Here, we present the genus Senecio (Asteraceae) as an excellent system to integrate these developments, and to address fundamental questions in ecology and evolution. Senecio is one of the largest and most phenotypically diverse genera of flowering plants, containing species ranging from woody perennials to herbaceous annuals. These Senecio species exhibit many growth habits, life histories and morphologies, and occupy a multitude of environments. Common within the genus are species that have hybridised naturally, undergone polyploidisation, and colonised diverse environments, often through rapid phenotypic divergence and adaptive radiation. These diverse experimental attributes make Senecio an attractive model system in which to address a broad range of questions in evolution and ecology.
Walter , G M , Abbott , R J , Brennan , A C , Bridle , J R , Chapman , M , Clark , J , Filatov , D , Nevado , B , Ortiz-Barrientos , D & Hiscock , S J 2020 , ' Senecio as a model system for integrating studies of genotype, phenotype and fitness ' , New Phytologist , vol. 226 , no. 2 , pp. 326-344 . https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.16434
Copyright © 2020 The Authors New Phytologist © 2020 New Phytologist Trust. This work has been made available online in accordance with publisher policies or with permission. Permission for further reuse of this content should be sought from the publisher or the rights holder. This is the author created accepted manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.16434
DescriptionWe also acknowledge the national funding bodies that have supported this work, including NERC, The Genetics Society, BBSRC and the Leverhulme Trust in the UK, NSF in the USA, and ARC in Australia.
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