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Abstract Detail

Evolutionary Developmental Biology (Evo-Devo)

Smith, Annika [1].

An Integrated Approach to Exploring Floral Evolution in the Nasturtiums (Tropaeolum).

The ability to successfully address the complex, multidimensional process of plant character evolution requires approaches that integrate across domains: genetics, evolution, development, and ecology. Likewise, in order to understand the patterns of plant character evolution across a broad phylogenetic scale, we must continue to extend beyond current model organisms and identify new candidate genes implicated in phenotypic evolution. I will explore the potential for an approach that synthesizes systematics, evo-devo, and bioinformatics to generate candidate gene hypotheses in non-model plants. Drawing on successful approaches from vertebrate systems, I propose a data-driven approach using ontologies to link the phenotypes and developmental processes of non-model plant clades to underlying candidate genes identified from the model plant Arabidopsis. I will discuss the application of this approach in the context of non-model Tropaeolum, commonly known as nasturtiums, to explore the genetic and developmental basis of phenotypic convergence and constraint in floral evolution. The placement of Tropaeolum within Brassicales, the same clade in which Arabidopsis occurs, provides the possibility of employing an ontological approach to develop candidate gene hypotheses for floral phenotypes. Additionally, more distantly related plant clades with convergent phenotypes could also be systematically queried through ontologies to explore the molecular and morphological basis for convergence and to suggest additional candidate genes. Both the challenges and potential inherent in ontological approaches will be discussed, as well as the integral role that development must play in the process of ontology design. Comparative genomic, phylogenetic, and gene expression studies are downstream methods that could be used in the interpretation of the candidate genes suggested by the ontologies. Ultimately, I hope to use this approach to elucidate the mechanisms behind the patterns of variation in floral form, especially as they relate to pollination, within Tropaeolum.

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1 - University of Florida, Department of Biology, 1659 Museum Road, Gainesville, FL, 32611, United States

floral evolution

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 34, Evo-Devo
Location: Sundance 2/Omni Hotel
Date: Wednesday, June 28th, 2017
Time: 8:30 AM
Number: 34003
Abstract ID:110
Candidate for Awards:None

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