Fifty years of co-evolution and beyond: integrating co-evolution from molecules to species

diagram showing coevolution at multiple levels of biological organization
Monday, November 16, 2015 - 8:40am

The bees, butterflies and pesky bugs. The fungi, flowers, forests and fields full of plant diversity. 50 years ago Paul Ehrlich and Peter Raven proposed that coevolution – reciprocal natural selection between species – gave rise to much of this biological diversity we see and take for granted. PDF Dr. Diego Carmona and PhD student Connor Fitzpatrick (Johnson Lab) take stock of what we have learned and where we should be going in their article “Fifty years of co-evolution and beyond: integrating co-evolution from molecules to species” in Molecular Ecology.  Diego and Connor argue that despite 50 years of research, we still don’t understand how common coevolution is in nature, and whether it involves symmetrical or asymmetrical coevolution. They also illustrate that the process of coevolution is likely more ubiquitous than often appreciated. They claim that a gene’s-eye approach to the study of coevolution will allow scientists to understand how coevolution has shaped processes as diverse as interacting proteins to interacting species. Congratulations on these exciting and controversial ideas.