The distribution of cytotypes on different spatial scales provides valuable insights into evolutionary processes of a polyploid complex. Sonnleitner et al. determine ploidy levels of more than 5000 individuals of Senecio carniolicus (Asteraceae) in the Eastern Alps and show that the three main cytotypes are either distributed allopatrically, probably resulting from Pleistocene range shifts, or, if co-occurring in mixed populations (44 of 100 populations studied), they are segregated spatially (altitude) and ecologically (exposition, vegetation cover).
I’m just writing a quick post here to point to another blog post at Vaviblog by Jeremy Cherfas on the recent paper Did backcrossing contribute to the origin of hybrid edible bananas?. Banana domestication revisited is well worth your time because the post connects de Langhe’s banana research to other domestication. In particular he connects it to research research in cassava published in New Phytologist as well as hooking it into older puzzles in banana domestication.
There’s been reaction in the blogosphere to an editorial in another journal by someone who has an aversion to bloggers. This post is a simple an elegant example of why we at Annals of Botany think science blogging matters. It adds context that we missed. Twice in my case, because my banana blog post didn’t reference the cassava research either.