Evolutionary Developmental Biology (Evo-Devo)
Layton, Daniel J. , Faden, Robert .
Stamen evolution in the Commelinaceae.
The dayflower family (Commelinaceae) is a nearly cosmopolitan monocot lineage representing about 650 species. The family is characterized by short flowering periods of only a few hours per day, a lack of nectar, and presenting only pollen as a reward for pollinators. It has been suggested that these inherited limitations have led to the evolution of accentuated male reproductive organs in order to attract floral visitors, often resulting in the "deception" of pollinators with exaggerated rewards. Indeed, modifications to the male reproductive organs are responsible for much of the family's floral variation. Nearly half of the genera have two or three morphologically distinct types of stamens, and in turn about half of these have stamens in which producing male gametes is no longer the apparent primary function. The remaining genera have six equal stamens with fertile pollen, these being no less diverse in ornamentation. Staminodes have arisen independently in the family at least seven times, each representing a novel morphology. Depending on the taxon, staminodes may contain reduced quantities of fertile pollen, sterile pollen, no pollen, no pollen sacs, or no anthers. Several stamen morphologies found in the Commelinaceae resemble loss of function mutant phenotypes known from model organisms. Investigations are underway in order to simultaneously clarify the evolutionary history of the family and better understand stamen evolution in particular by isolating orthologs of stamen development genes identified in Arabidopsis. Observations of floral development using an SEM will complement these data.
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1 - University of Missouri-St. Louis, Biology, 223 Research Bldg. One University Blvd. St. Louis, MO 63121, USA
2 - Smithsonian Institution, Botany, MRC-166 National Museum Of Natural History, PO Box 37012, WASHINGTON, DC, 20013-7012, USA
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Location: Lindell D/Chase Park Plaza
Date: Wednesday, July 13th, 2011
Time: 9:30 AM