Flower Size Evolution

Slide1This project is looking at the cellular and genetic components of flower size differences in four close relatives of Saltugilia.  Each of these species have different pollinators (from left to right, hummingbird, bee fly, bee, and selfing).  The primary goal was to determine whether cell number or cell size is having the largest effect on flower size. This work was published in Frontiers in Plant Science in 2016 (see publications page for link).  All of the cellular data has been uploaded to Figshare and is freely available:

     Data sets: Gilia brecciarum subsp. brecciarumGilia stellata, Saltugilia australis, Saltugilia caruifolia, Saltugilia latimeri, Saltugilia splendens subsp. grantii, Saltugilia splendens subsp. splendens field collection,  and Saltugilia splendens subsp. splendens greenhouse collection

After the phenotypic data was determined, further investigation into the genetic components of flower size were completed. This project was published in BMC Genomics in 2017 (see publications page for link). All of the transcriptomic data and targeted gene capture data for phylogenetic reconstruction have been deposited in Dryad.

A similar project was being done by one of my undergrad assistants, Kayla Ventura, using multiple species in Gilia.  This work was presented at the Botany meeting 2015, but has not been published.  The cellular data is also available on Figshare (link to Gilia data)

IMG_3798
Mounting flowers for imaging on the confocal microscope.