Studies have suggested that plant sexual reproduction is particularly vulnerable to climate change, and a number of ecologically and evolutionarily relevant genes have recently been identified. Shimizu et al. consider that studying gene functions in naturally fluctuating conditions is very important in order to predict responses to changing environments. For example, modelling has shown that FLC in Arabidopsis halleri acts as a quantitative tracer of the temperature over the preceding 6 weeks, and recent studies of SCR in A. thaliana have identified gene functions in natura that are also unlikely to be found in laboratory experiments.
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