Monkeflower Mutation Provides Evolution Insight

Publication: 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.

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