Understanding how, why and when species rapidly evolve is of utmost importance, in the face of the current biodiversity crisis.
In our project we are investigating how the Scalesia diversification happened in the Galápagos. This involves understanding: 1) the environmental conditions under which the species-diversification; 2) the role of leaf shape, which we suspect that it may constitute a “biological innovation”; 3) the genes involved in the leaf shape and potentially linked to the diversification
Some short notes
The Scalesia genome is as big as the human genome! However, there is a “genome-duplication”, meaning 70% of the genome remains copied!
We suspect that the shape of the leaf may be the “ecological innovation” behind the sucess of Scalesia.