Supergenes play a larger role in evolution than previously thought

ScienceDaily | Jul 8, 2020 at 8:19 PM
  • Biologists identified 37 of these so-called ‘supergenes’ in wild sunflower populations, and found they govern the modular transfer of a large range of traits important for adaptation to local habitats.
  • Examples of habitats in which supergenes played a major role in sunflower species adaption include the Texas coastal plain, sand dunes, and coastal barrier islands of the Gulf of Mexico.
  • The researchers sequenced the genomes of more than 1,500 plants from three wild sunflower species: the common sunflower (Helianthus annuus), prairie sunflower (Helianthus petiolaris), and silverleaf sunflower (Helianthus argophyllus).