The Prickly Business of Cactus Classification

Photo by J. Wallner, NPS.

Researchers have found a genetic pattern in the saguaro and its cousins that could explain why many cactus species resist simple classification.

Plants like the cactus are tricky. Distant relatives can look like twins or evolve similar traits, thanks to phenomena like parallel and convergent evolution, both of which entail species evolving the same traits independently of one another.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
Saguaro Genome Shows Why Many Cactus Species Are Hard To Classify

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