University of Cambridge > > Morphogenesis Seminar Series > Understanding how flowering plants build communication devices on their petals

Understanding how flowering plants build communication devices on their petals

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  • UserLucie Riglet, Sainsbury's Laboratory, Cambridge University
  • ClockMonday 21 November 2022, 14:30-15:30
  • HouseOnline.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Elena Scarpa.

The colourful patterns on the corolla of flowering plants are key signals to attract pollinators, contributing to plant reproductive success and diversification. Hibiscus trionum flowers display a striking bullseye pattern on their petal, emerging from the combination of a basal purple spot made of flat, elongated, striated cells, with a white distal region of conical and smooth cells. Both regions are separated by a boundary positioned at 1/3rd from the petal base. How is this boundary specified during development and how its position can vary during evolution to change pattern proportions is not understood.

We developed a quantitative imaging pipeline to start deciphering the mechanisms that specify the distinct regions of the bullseye in developing petals. Using this pipeline, we captured early cellular behaviour in H. trionum petal epidermis and showed that growth and division are not uniform and follow a pre-pattern long before any sign of the bullseye become visible. To probe the mechanisms accounting for a change in bullseye dimensions, we characterised natural variants/transgenic lines that differ in bullseye size and tested whether bumblebees can distinguish and/or prefer specific proportions.

This talk is part of the Morphogenesis Seminar Series series.

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