Recre­at­ing the Orig­i­nal Flower

An ex­ten­sive anal­y­sis of genes and looks re­veals the make-up of the world’s first flower.

Science Illustrated - - FLOWERS -

The world’s first flower had its male and fe­male sex or­gans in one place, sci­en­tists have dis­cov­ered fol­low­ing an ex­ten­sive anal­y­sis of hun­dreds of mod­ern and fos­silized species. The sci­en­tists used DNA, etc., from mod­ern plants to draw up a de­tailed fam­ily tree of the flow­ers. Based on the fam­ily tree, they were able to make out, when the dif­fer­ent flow­ers’ char­ac­ter­is­tics oc­curred and which char­ac­ter­is­tics the first flower must have had.

The study elim­i­nates pre­vi­ous the­o­ries that the first flow­er­ing plants had male and fe­male or­gans in dif­fer­ent flow­ers. The lo­ca­tion of the leaves was also a sur­prise. They were found in sep­a­rate cir­cles in­stead of spi­rals, as sci­en­tists used to think.

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