Convergent evolution of sexual deception in Gorteria diffusa (Asteraceae)
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Proposed Symposium Title: Convergent evolution of sexual deception in Gorteria diffusa (Asteraceae)
Beverley J. Glover1, Boris Delahaie1, Allan G. Ellis2, Roisin Fattorini1, Roman Kellenberger1 Farahnoz Khojayori1, Greg Mellers1, Udhaya Ponraj1, Xiao Wang1
Affiliations: 1 Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge, UK 2 Department of Botany and Zoology, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Gorteria diffusa is endemic to South Africa, but its floral morphology varies extensively across its range. Geographically distinct populations produce capitula with no petal spots, with simple petal spots and with highly complex petal spots that mimic female bee flies. These last forms attract pollinators through sexual deception. We have studied the development of these complex petal spots and their evolution within the species, and find that sexual deception has emerged at least twice in the system. I will describe our work to understand the genetic and genomic changes that underlie the repeated evolution of this novel trait.