EVOLUTION OF KEY INNOVATIONS IN LAND PLANTS REVEALED THROUGH THE LENS OF EVODEVO 1
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Proposed Symposium Title: EVOLUTION OF KEY INNOVATIONS IN LAND PLANTS REVEALED THROUGH THE LENS OF EVODEVO 1
Abstract: Plant evo-devo, short for "evolutionary developmental biology," combines evolutionary, molecular and developmental biology to understand the mechanisms controlling how plants develop along their life-cycle and how they evolve over time. Evo-devo research has allowed the study of genes and genetic regulatory networks underlying both, common features in a lineage, and independently acquired traits in distantly related taxa. By comparing the genetic bases of development of these traits, researchers gain insights into how these traits have evolved over time and how they may have responded to the adaptation, diversification, and biological interactions across different ecosystems.
The great challenge of evo-devo research, in a time in which genomic and transcriptomic data are multiplying, is the evaluation of gene expression and function in a comparative manner . Studying the genes and signaling pathways that regulate key developmental stages has been well standardized only for a handful of species. This has hindered broad scale assessment of gene functional evolution in several plant clades. Conversely, the availability of powerful bioinformatic tools, the generation of detailed transcriptomic profiles and targeted expression analyses, and the access to natural variation and peloric forms, or post-transcriptional silencing techniques in non-model species are unveiling unexpected new alternatives to identify the core genes controlling targeted developmental changes. As a result, plant evo-devo has seen a surge of recent accomplishments in recent years due to the inclusion of more plant species across broad phylogenetic scales as well as more comprehensive research questions targeting previously unexplored ontogenetic transformations and their underlying molecular mechanisms.
Overall, the evo-devo contributions presented in this symposium illustrate genes and genetic regulatory networks controlling key features in land plant evolution, such as vascularization, sporangia, seeds, flowers and fruits that have contributed to the diversity and adaptations of a wide range of plant lineages.
Speaker 1: Natalia Pabon Mora
Universidad de Antioquia
Evolution of holoparasitism: a case study in the Apodanthaceae
Speaker 2: Cecilia Zumajo-Cardona
Universitá degli studi di Milano, Milan, Italy.
From sporangia to ovules to seeds: genetic networks involved in a key dispersal unit
Speaker 3: Barbara Ambrose
The New York Botanical Garden, New York, USA.
Genes underlying leaf and sporangia development in Lycophytes and ferns
Topics (Up to three): Phylogenetics and Phylogenomics
Topic 2: Development and Structure
Topic 3: Functional Genetics
Justification: At the present stage our proposal encompasses three confirmed participants from senior, early career and postdoctoral scientists. In addition, six more potential speakers are either confirmed or contacted. The three confirmed scientists are women from Europe, North America and South America, which ensures a basis for a balanced gender and geographical diversity. Asia, Africa and Oceania speakers have been already contacted.