Next SOL Seminar Online will be presented by Gabriela Doria on Petal cell shape and flower-pollinator interaction in Nicotiana (Solanaceae)
Abstract. Petal epidermal cell shape has been shown to affect pollination success in flowering plants. Conical epidermal cells may increase grip for insect pollinators and enhance flower colouration compared to non-conical cells. Nicotiana presents a diverse range of petal cell shapes. Interestingly, sister species in at least two phylogenetically distinct clades of the genus have contrasting petal epidermal cell shapes (conical vs. non-conical). This provides a unique opportunity to explore the mechanisms involved in petal cell shape differentiation in sister species. I use a combination of molecular, morphological and behavioural ecology tools to study the development, evolution and function of petal cell shape in two clades (Section Alatae and Section Paniculatae) of Nicotiana. Differential expression of R2R3-MYB subgroup 9 transcription factors, rather than amino acid sequence differences in these molecules, might explain contrasting cell shapes between sister species. Flower choice experiments with model pollinator Bombus terrestris, using biomimetic replicates of petals of Nicotiana species, indicate that the bumblebees can discriminate flowers of contrasting texture using visual cues alone as well as tactile cues alone. This investigation improves our understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in petal epidermal cell morphogenesis and of the functional implications of petal cell shape in the interaction flower-pollinator in Nicotiana.
When? Friday 20th November 3 pm (GMT+1)
The zoom link to join the meeting is https://cuboulder.zoom.us/j/94333146166 Meeting ID: 943 3314 6166, password: Solanaceae
Watch this talk again here: https://youtu.be/N41cVMCnJAk