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Identifying the molecular genetic basis of traits contributing to speciation is of crucial importance for understanding the ecological and evolutionary mechanisms that generate biodiversity. Despite several examples describing putative "speciation genes," it is often uncertain to what extent these genetic changes have contributed to gene flow reductions in(More)
We tested whether selection by pollinators could explain the parapatric distribution of coastal red- and inland yellow-flowered races of Mimulus aurantiacus (Phrymaceae) by examining visitation to natural and experimental populations. As a first step in evaluating whether indirect selection might explain floral divergence, we also tested for local(More)
Steep clines in ecologically important traits may be caused by divergent natural selection. However, processes that do not necessarily invoke ongoing selection, such as secondary contact or restricted gene flow, can also cause patterns of phenotypic differentiation over short spatial scales. Distinguishing among all possible scenarios is difficult, but an(More)
The repeated, independent evolution of phenotypic traits reflects adaptation to similar selective pressures. In some circumstances, parallel phenotypic evolution has a common genetic basis. Here, we investigate the types of genetic change responsible for the repeated evolution of red flowers among Ipomoea species. We identified three independent transitions(More)
A fundamental goal in evolutionary biology is to identify the molecular changes responsible for adaptive evolution. In this study, we describe a genetic analysis to determine whether the molecular changes contributing to adaptive flower color divergence in Mimulus aurantiacus affect gene expression or enzymatic activity. High performance liquid(More)
Ongoing debate centers on whether certain types of mutations are fixed preferentially during adaptive evolution. Although there has been much discussion, no quantitative framework currently exists to test for these biases. Here, we describe a method for distinguishing between the two processes that likely account for biased rates of substitution: variation(More)
Regulatory genes are believed to play a large role in morphological diversification and are often characterized by elevated rates of evolution. Whether this rapid evolution is primarily due to adaptive differentiation or relaxed selective constraint remains an open question. We attempted to distinguish between these alternative outcomes in 2 transcription(More)
• Transcription factors (TFs) may play a central role in plant morphological evolution. Variation in the nonsynonymous to synonymous nucleotide substitution rate (dN/dS) ratio among TFs can be attributed to either differences in constraint or the frequency of adaptive substitution. However, the relative contribution of these forces to the variation in dN/dS(More)
A primary goal in evolutionary biology is to identify the historical events that have facilitated the origin and spread of adaptations. When these adaptations also lead to reproductive isolation, we can learn about the evolutionary mechanisms contributing to speciation. We reveal the complex history of the gene MaMyb2 in shaping flower colour divergence(More)
Even though pigmentation traits have had substantial impacts on the field of animal evolutionary developmental biology, they have played only relatively minor roles in plant evo-devo. This is surprising given the often direct connection between flower color and fitness variation mediated through the effects of pollinators. At the same time, ecological and(More)