A question so simple a child would think of it, a question so complex it perplexed even Darwin, a question I never even thought to ask. Where do flowers come from?
The newly sequenced genome of theAmborella plant addresses Darwin’s “abominable mystery” — the question of why flowers suddenly proliferated on Earth millions of years ago. The genome sequence sheds new light on a major event in the history of life on Earth: the origin of flowering plants, including all major food crop species. On 20 December 2013, a paper by the Amborella Genome Sequencing Project that includes a full description of the analyses performed by the project, as well as implications for flowering plant research, will be published in the journal Science. The paper is among three on different research areas related to theAmborella genome that will be published in the same issue of the journal.