Monkeflower Mutation Provides Evolution InsightPublication: National Geographic News Date: November 12, 2003 View Article
For years scientists have grappled to understand the number and type of genetic mutations required for a new species to evolve. Does it require the accumulation of many minute mutations? Or can a single mutation spark a big change?
Now researchers studying pink and red flowers in the monkeyflower (Mimulus) family have found a persuasive answer: A single mutation can recruit a whole new set of pollinators, serving as the fork in the road that leads to a new species.