Evolutionary paths underlying flower color variation in antirrhinum

Annabel C. Whibley, Nicholas B. Langlade, Christophe Andalo, Andrew I. Hanna, Andrew Bangham, Christophe Thébaud, Enrico Coen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

133 Citations (Scopus)


To understand evolutionary paths connecting diverse biological forms, we defined a three-dimensional genotypic space separating two flower color morphs of Antirrhinum. A hybrid zone between morphs showed a steep cline specifically at genes controlling flower color differences, indicating that these loci are under selection. Antirrhinum species with diverse floral phenotypes formed a U-shaped cloud within the genotypic space. We propose that this cloud defines an evolutionary path that allows flower color to evolve while circumventing less-adaptive regions. Hybridization between morphs located in different arms of the U-shaped path yields low-fitness genotypes, accounting for the observed steep clines at hybrid zones.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)963-966
Number of pages4
Issue number5789
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2006

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