Bursts of color on the tree of life: The turbulent evolution of flowers
- Monday, November 4th, 3:45 pm to 4:30 pm
- Century Ballroom A
- Pam SoltisDistinguished professor; curator of molecular systematics and evolutionary genetics, University of Florida; Florida Museum of Natural History
- Doug SoltisDistinguished professor, Department of Biology, University of Florida
Even if your name is Rose or Daisy, to an evolutionary geneticist you’re a pale imitation of a flower. Flowering plants frequently go through whole-genome doubling and other radical events rare in the animal kingdom. The fossil and phylogenetic record of plants is full of bursts of speciation and radiation and turbulent periods of rapid evolutionary experimentation. As a result, a number of today’s crops and flowering species have large and remarkable toolkits allowing surprising adaptations. Doug and Pam Soltis are sequencing the complete genome of the oldest known flowering plant, Amborella, and have created synthetic tetraploids to observe genome dynamics in the lab. Combining phylogenetic information with herbarium records and ecological models, they are also collaborating to predict the adaptation of Florida’s flora to climate change.
For more information, see the CASW website.