University of Cambridge > > Plant Sciences Departmental Seminars > Evolution of plant breeding systems: Male form and function in the nightshade family.

Evolution of plant breeding systems: Male form and function in the nightshade family.

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‘How does stamen morphology evolves to improve pollinator efficiency and/or attraction in a buzz pollinated genus?’ is the key question this project addresses using a 3 strand approach to answer the ‘what’ ‘how’ and ‘why’ of anther morphology in the genus Solanum. Solanum is entirely buzz pollinated, in which the plant’s gametes (pollen) are used as the reward to pollinators. This places special selective pressures on both plant and pollinator leading to adaptation in the morphology of the highly diverse Solanum anthers. This project will investigate key evolutionary transitions in stamen morphology (including traits of epidermal morphology, heteranthery, filament length, stamen cone shape) across the Solanum phylogeny. Once identified, selected key evolutionary transitions will be further investigated from a developmental genetic point of view. The interactions of pollinators with different stamen morphologies in a controlled environment will then be examined using sister pairs of plants with contrasting morphologies.

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

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