Polyploidy, or whole genome duplication, is known to play an important role in the evolution and diversification of vascular plants. I am interested in understanding the cascading effects of polyploidy on the ecology and evolution of angiosperms.

The effects of genome duplication at a community-level remains unclear, therefore with Drs. Julienne Ng and Robert Laport we used a community phylogenetic approach to began to unravel the influence of genome duplication in communities of Rosaceae and Brassicaceae species. We tested (1) whether polyploid species are more distantly related to diploids within the same community than co-occurring diploids are to one another and (2) whether polyploid species tend to exhibit greater ecological success than diploid species.

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See Figure 2 in Gaynor, M. L., Ng, J., and Laport, R. G. (2018). Phylogenetic structure of plant communities: are polyploids distantly related to co-occurring diploids? Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 6, 52.

In addition to consequences at the community-level, I am interested in ecological and trait related consequences associated with whole genome duplication.

Associated publication:

Gaynor, M. L.*, Lim-Hing, S.*, and Mason, C. M. (2020). Genome duplication impact on secondary metabolite composition in non-cultivated species: A systematic meta-analysis. Annals of Botany. doi: 10.1093/aob/mcaa107

An, H., Qi, X., Gaynor, M. L., Hao, Y., Grebken, S. C., Mabry, M. E., Conant, G. C, Barker, M., Fu, T., Yi, B., and Pires, J. C. (2019). Transcriptome and organellar sequencing highlights the complex origin and diversification of allotetraploid Brassica napus. Nature Communication, 10: 2878.

Gaynor, M. L., Marchant, D. B., Soltis, D. E., and Soltis, P. S. (2018). Climatic niche comparison among ploidal levels in the classic autopolyploid system, Galax urceolata (Diapensiaceae). American Journal of Botany, 105(10): 1–12.

Gaynor, M. L., Ng, J., and Laport, R. G. (2018). Phylogenetic structure of plant communities: are polyploids distantly related to co-occurring diploids? Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 6, 52.