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Big Trees for Big Problems

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Evolutionary trees can and should play a critical role in the formulation and testing of hypotheses, in experimental design, and in the articulation of key research priorities. The influx of new genomic and transcriptomic data from across the tree of life ensures that it is now possible to build meaningful comparative frameworks with a long ‘shelf life’. I will briefly discuss how these new data meet the perennial challenges involved in building robust evolutionary trees. I will then discuss the application of evolutionary approaches to various collaborative projects within the department including: 1) the diversification of trichome specification; 2) the genetic origins of the land plant cuticle; 3) the evolutionary link between obesity and biofuels, and; 4) the diversity of auxin patterning among major lineages of land plants.

This talk is part of the Plant Sciences Research Seminars series.

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