This publication has many beautiful images of flowers and provides a detailed guide that researchers can use to statistically analyze corolla shape and structure. Part of what makes the flowers in these pictures so beautiful to our eyes and encourages us to hit “share” is their symmetrical designs. However, symmetry is useful for more than just looks. Plant-Pollinator interactions, shifts from outcrossing to selfing, plasticity, and response to biotic and abiotic stresses are all influenced by symmetry and therefore various types of arrangements have evolved in flowers. In this paper, Yoland Savriama uses four case studies to illustrate and describe the types of symmetry that can be found in corollas. For each example, Savriama shares a step-by-step guide and completes full statistical shape analysis of corolla type using R.
This toolkit is especially useful for botanists interested in understanding the role of symmetry/asymmetry in angiosperm evolution and developmental biology, but will also be useful for any plant scientist interested learning more about fundamental genetic, developmental, and environmental determinants of shape variation.