Evolution in the Carnivorous Plant Sarracenia

Carstens

The plants in the genus Sarracenia are carnivorous and have evolved the ability to capture and digest insects to obtain the nitrogen and phosphorus required for growth. Understanding this unusual evolutionary strategy has evolved within Sarracenia requires understanding the history and relationship among the various members of the group, but estimates of evolutionary history have been difficult to resolve. Recent studies that rely on genes that are used during digestion offer a substantially different picture of evolutionary history than do studies based on more traditional DNA markers. We will generate SNP data from across the genome, estimate relationships from these data, and compare this phylogeny to earlier estimates of relationship among species of Sarracenia to better understand the pathway and consequences of the evolution of carnivory among these plants.

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