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How plants reject foreign pollen remains elusive. Now, it is found that the recognition between two proteins encoded by genes duplicated from pollen–pistil recognition loci causes intraspecific unilateral incompatibility in Brassica rapa.
Pollinators are thought to be a driver of plant diversification, but their effects are difficult to disentangle from those of other biotic and abiotic factors. Here, the authors let plants evolve under different pollination regimes and show rapid and divergent evolution of plant height, floral traits and mating system.
Wild and managed pollinators are threatened by pressures such as environmental changes and pesticides, leading to risks for pollinator-dependent crop production, meaning more research and better policies are needed to safeguard pollinators and their services.
Climate change will pose diverse challenges for pollination this century. Identifying and addressing these challenges will help to mitigate impacts, and avoid a scenario whereby plants and pollinators are in the ‘wrong place at the wrong time’.