University of Cambridge > > Plant Sciences Research Seminars > The evolution of floral traits in the Antirrhineae

The evolution of floral traits in the Antirrhineae

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Flower evolution has been an important force behind angiosperm diversification. In recent years the function of several genes involved in flower development has been elucidated; however little attempt has been made to match this information with the ecological and evolutionary profiles of plant groups. Due to its morphological and ecological diversity, the tribe Antirrhineae, which includes model species Antirrhinum majus, is a good system to study floral trait variation. In my project, I have analysed how petal epidermal cell shape, nectar storage receptacles and corolla shape have changed along the lineage using a combination of morphometric and molecular biology techniques. In cell shape I have analysed the expression of MIXTA and its homologues: MIXTA -LIKE 1, MIXTA -LIKE 2 and MIXTA -LIKE 3, responsible for the development of conical cells. For nectar receptacles I’m looking at KNOX genes, such as Invaginata and Hirzina. Corolla shape has been characterised using an allometric model based on landmarks and analysed using Principal Component Analysis (PCA).

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

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