Evolution is most often presented as the accumulation of small, random changes over many millions of years. It can be difficult to imagine how new, highly ordered features that perform novel functions can arise. Over 50 years ago, a landmark book by Dr. Susumu Ohno popularized the idea that large evolutionary steps could be made over short time scales through the duplication of existing genes, or even the entire genome of an organism. While one gene copy preserves the original role, duplicated genes can explore new ones.
In this talk, graduate student Ian Gilman will review how evolution by duplication has become a hallmark of flowering plants and discuss his research on the evolution of photosynthesis following gene and genome duplication.