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Circadian clocks are believed to confer an advantage to plants, but the nature of that advantage has been unknown. We show that a substantial photosynthetic advantage is conferred by correct matching of the circadian clock period with that of the external light-dark cycle. In wild type and in long- and short-circadian period mutants of Arabidopsis thaliana,(More)
Most plants are known as C3 plants because the first product of photosynthetic CO2 fixation is a three-carbon compound. C4 plants, which use an alternative pathway in which the first product is a four-carbon compound, have evolved independently many times and are found in at least 18 families. In addition to differences in their biochemistry, photosynthetic(More)
C₄ photosynthesis allows increased photosynthetic efficiency because carbon dioxide (CO₂) is concentrated around the key enzyme RuBisCO. Leaves of C₄ plants exhibit modified biochemistry, cell biology, and leaf development, but despite this complexity, C₄ photosynthesis has evolved independently in at least 45 lineages of plants. We found that two(More)
With at least 60 independent origins spanning monocotyledons and dicotyledons, the C4 photosynthetic pathway represents one of the most remarkable examples of convergent evolution. The recurrent evolution of this highly complex trait involving alterations to leaf anatomy, cell biology and biochemistry allows an increase in productivity by ∼ 50% in tropical(More)
CAM and C4 photosynthesis are two key plant adaptations that have evolved independently multiple times, and are especially prevalent in particular groups of plants, including the Caryophyllales. We investigate the origin of photosynthetic PEPC, a key enzyme of both the CAM and C4 pathways. We combine phylogenetic analyses of genes encoding PEPC with(More)
Many phylogenomic studies based on transcriptomes have been limited to "single-copy" genes due to methodological challenges in homology and orthology inferences. Only a relatively small number of studies have explored analyses beyond reconstructing species relationships. We sampled 69 transcriptomes in the hyperdiverse plant clade Caryophyllales and 27(More)
C4 photosynthesis has independently evolved from the ancestral C3 pathway in at least 60 plant lineages, but, as with other complex traits, how it evolved is unclear. Here we show that the polyphyletic appearance of C4 photosynthesis is associated with diverse and flexible evolutionary paths that group into four major trajectories. We conducted a(More)
We used DNA sequencing and gel blot surveys to assess the integrity of the chloroplast gene infA, which codes for translation initiation factor 1, in >300 diverse angiosperms. Whereas most angiosperms appear to contain an intact chloroplast infA gene, the gene has repeatedly become defunct in approximately 24 separate lineages of angiosperms, including(More)
Next-generation sequencing plays a central role in the characterization and quantification of transcriptomes. Although numerous metrics are purported to quantify the quality of RNA, there have been no large-scale empirical evaluations of the major determinants of sequencing success. We used a combination of existing and newly developed methods to isolate(More)
C(4) photosynthesis involves alterations to leaf development, cell biology and biochemistry. Different lineages of C(4) plants use varying mechanisms to generate the C(4) pathway. Although the biochemistry of C(4) photosynthesis was described around 20 years ago, the phylogenetic distance between Arabidopsis and the traditional C(4) models has not(More)