Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies, Yale University
"Evolutionary Enablers – and Roadblocks – For the Origins of Crassulacean Acid Metabolism"
Abstract: CAM photosynthesis is often viewed as a complex trait, as it fundamentally alters the way in which plants acquire CO2 from the atmosphere. Yet the frequency of its origins, as well as its relative biochemical simplicity, suggest it may not be so complex after all. With evidence spanning ecophysiological to genomic, I’ll highlight the ways in which CAM evolution can be facilitated by ancestral traits in some lineages, as well as the numerous refinements that occur in CAM species that increase their efficiency and complicate their evolution.