Angiosperm diversity arises from trait flexibility and repeated evolutionary radiations, but the role of genomic characters in these radiations remains unclear. In this opinion article, we discuss how genome size can influence angiosperm diversification via its intricate link with cell size, tissue packing, and physiological processes which, in turn, influence the macroevolution of functional traits. We propose that integrating genome size, functional traits, and phylogenetic data across a wide range of lineages allows us to test whether genome size decrease consistently leads to increased trait flexibility, while genome size increase constrains trait evolution. Combining theories from molecular biology, functional ecology and macroevolution, we provide a framework to better understand the role of genome size in trait evolution, evolutionary radiations, and the global distribution of angiosperms.

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Trends in Genetics
Staff publications

Bhadra, Sreetama, Leitch, Ilia J., & Onstein, R. (2023). From genome size to trait evolution during angiosperm radiation. Trends in Genetics (Vol. 39, pp. 728–735). doi:10.1016/j.tig.2023.07.006