Data from: C4 anatomy can evolve via a single developmental change

Marjorie R. Lundgren, Luke T. Dunning, Jill K. Olofsson, Jose J. Moreno Villena, Jacques W. Bouvier, Tammy L. Sage, Roxana Khosravesh, Stefanie Sultmanis, Matt Stata, Brad S. Ripley, Maria S. Vorontsova, Guillaume Besnard, Claire Adams, Nicholas Cuff, Anthony Mapaura, Matheus E. Bianconi, Christine M. Long, Pascal-Antoine Christin, Colin P. Osborne, Roxana Khoshravesh & Jose J. Moreno-Villena
C4 photosynthesis boosts productivity in warm environments. Paradoxically, this complex physiological process evolved independently in numerous plant lineages, despite requiring specialized leaf anatomy. The anatomical modifications underlying C4 evolution have previously been evaluated through interspecific comparisons, which capture numerous changes besides those needed for C4 functionality. Here, we quantify the anatomical changes accompanying the transition between non-C4 and C4 phenotypes by sampling widely across the continuum of leaf anatomical traits in the grass Alloteropsis semialata....
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