Host specialization is traditionally viewed as the pathway to speciation in parasitic plants. However, geographical and environmental changes can also influence parasite speciation through population isolation and secondary contact.
Variation in the rates of molecular evolution among lineages (heterotachy) has been widely documented throughout the tree of life. However, the processes influencing the speed at which DNA evolves in different lineages are not well understood. Continue reading
Pleistocene glacial periods have had a major influence on the genetic variation and differentiation of plant populations in tropical mountains. However, the effect of these cycles on morphological differentiation remains virtually unexplored.
The prevalent view about genetic structuring in parasitic plants is that host-race formation is due to varying degrees of host specificity. However, the relative importance of ecological niche divergence and host specificity remains poorly understood.
Variation in species diversity among lineages is a major feature of evolution. However, factors affecting species diversification remain largely unexplored, specially in plants. Continue reading