Blades and Clades
December 24, 2012
Two groups — clades — of grasses that once had a common ancestry diverged. The PACMAD clade was predisposed to evolve a more efficient “C4” means of photosynthesis than grasses in the BEP clade. In a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a Brown-led team pinpoints the anatomical differences between the clades that led to the PACMAD’s tendency toward C4.