Extreme diversification of floral volatiles within and among species of Lithophragma (Saxifragaceae)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A major challenge in evolutionary biology is to understand how complex traits of multiple functions have diversified and codiversified across interacting lineages and geographic ranges. We evaluate intra- and interspecific variation in floral scent, which is a complex trait of documented importance for mutualistic and antagonistic interactions between plants, pollinators, and herbivores. We performed a large-scale, phylogenetically structured study of an entire plant genus (Lithophragma, Saxifragaceae), of which several species are coevolving with specialized pollinating floral parasites of the moth genus Greya (Prodoxidae). We sampled 94 Lithophragma populations distributed across all 12 recognized Lithophragma species and subspecies, and four populations of related saxifragaceous species. Our results reveal an unusually high diversity of floral volatiles among populations, species, and clades within the genus. Moreover, we found unexpectedly major changes at each of these levels in the biosynthetic pathways used by local populations in their floral scents. Finally, we detected significant, but variable, genus- and species-level patterns of ecological convergence in the floral scent signal, including an impact of the presence and absence of two pollinating Greya moth species. We propose that one potential key to understanding floral scent variation in this hypervariable genus is its geographically diverse interactions with the obligate specialized Greya moths and, in some species and sites, more generalized copollinators.

Details

Authors
  • Magne Friberg
  • Christopher Schwind
  • Paulo R. Guimarães
  • Robert A. Raguso
  • John N. Thompson
Organisations
External organisations
  • University of California, Santa Cruz
  • University of São Paulo
  • Cornell University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Evolutionary Biology

Keywords

  • Floral parasitism, Floral volatiles, Geographic mosaic of coevolution, Geographic variation, Pollination
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4406-4415
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume116
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

Related activities

Friberg, M. (Interviewee), Jan Olsson (Lyricist)
2019 Feb 19

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