Next SOL Seminar Online will be presented by Luke Wheeler on An integrative approach to studying the evolution of floral pigmentation
Abstract. Flower color is an essential feature of the angiosperm lineage. Under the hood, flower color phenotypes are derived from several biosynthetic pathways; most notably the anthocyanin pathway, which produces three main classes of red, purple, and blue pigments. The anthocyanin pathway is very old and broadly conserved across the angiosperms and the functional components and topology of the pathway are well-studied. Together these features make the anthocyanin pathway an excellent model system to study the evolution of complex phenotypes. Here, I will discuss three ongoing projects that use a variety of methods applied across a range of biological scales to study the evolution of flower color. First, we are finishing the collection of a large dataset of RNA-seq, reflectance spectroscopy, and pigment chromatography data for species sampled from across the Petunieae clade of Solanaceae. Using a phylotranscriptomic approach, we have reconstructed the phylogeny of this clade and set the stage for a detailed study of the molecular and biochemical mechanisms underlying transitions in floral pigmentation. Second, we are using pigment composition data and an RNA-seq segregant analysis, with individuals from a blue-flowered by red-flowered backcross experiment, to identify the transcription factor controlling a key anthocyanin pathway gene in flowers of the genus Iochroma. Finally, we have constructed a computational framework to simulate the evolution of the anthocyanin pathway, which we are using to understand observed patterns of genetic hotspots and make predictions for future empirical studies. This approach is flexible and can be readily extended to incorporate various aspects of pathway structure, dynamics, and regulation, as well as various models of mutation and selection. Combining all of the approaches outlined here lays the groundwork for understanding flower color evolution across scales; from molecular to macro-evolutionary.
When? Friday 11th September, 4 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 here: https://youtu.be/OhSREoCemU0