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Abstract Detail

Past Presidents' Symposium: Biodiversity: Past, Present, and Future

Yuan, Yaowu [1], Sagawa, Janelle [1], Bradshaw, Toby [1].

The “Endless Forms”: Genetics, Development, and Evolution of Flower Color and Shape.

There exists an astonishing diversity of flower color and shape in nature. The problem of understanding the origin and evolution of these “endless forms” can be decomposed into three essential components: (i) the genetic basis that prescribes phenotypic variation; (ii) the developmental process through which gene products change phenotypes; and, (iii) the ecological consequence (or adaptive significance) of alternative phenotypes in their natural habitat. In this talk I will tell two stories to communicate our beginning progress towards such a "functional synthesis" between genetics, development, and ecology to understand phenotypic evolution, using monkeyflowers (Mimulus) as a study system. The first story involves identification of a causal gene underlying natural flower color variation that contributes to pollinator preference between bumblebee-pollinated Mimulus lewisii and hummingbird-pollinated M. cardinalis. The second story concerns the utilization of chemically induced mutants of M. lewisii to study the developmental genetics of floral traits that are ecologically important, but poorly understood at cellular and molecular level (e.g. carotenoid pigmentation, corolla tube formation and elaboration, nectar production). The example given here is pollinator nectar guide formation, which involves trichome development and carotenoid pigmentation.

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Related Links:

1 - University of Washington, Biology, Box 355325, Seattle, WA, 98195, USA

Flower color and shape

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: SY12
Location: Grand Ballroom A/Riverside Hilton
Date: Wednesday, July 31st, 2013
Time: 2:15 PM
Number: SY12002
Abstract ID:306
Candidate for Awards:None

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