Predicting the Evolution of C4 Photosynthesis with Focus on the Influence of Environmental Factors
C4 photosynthesis is today seen as an adaptation to avoid high rates of photorespiration. The trait evolved multiple times independently from C3 plants and multiple environmental factors potentially influence the evolution of this pathway. A mathematical model by Heckmann et al. (2013, DOI”:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2013.04.058) simulates the evolution of the metabolism of C4 plants. I plan on extending this model to describe the effect of environmental factors on the evolutionary dynamics of C4 photosynthesis. The analysis of the underlying fitness landscape will enable me to understand the evolution of a highly convergent complex trait with respect to different environmental conditions.