Genome duplications play a major role in the development of forms and structures of plant organisms and their changes across long periods of evolution. Heidelberg University biologists under the direction of Prof. Dr Marcus Koch made this discovery in their research of the Brassicaceae family. To determine the scope of the different variations over 30 million years, they analysed all 4,000 species of this plant family and investigated at the genus level their morphological diversity with respect to all their characteristic traits. The results of this research were published in the journal Nature Communications.
The external form of a plant, also known as its morphology, notably depends on environmental factors and their influences. This is true over short time scales of individual development as well as over the long term on an evolutionary scale. “A plant species always embodies only a portion of the possible breadth of morphological variation