CYCADS AS EMERGING MODELS IN EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY AND SYMBIOSIS
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Proposed Symposium Title: CYCADS AS EMERGING MODELS IN EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY AND SYMBIOSIS
Abstract: The evolution of the seed and diversification of seed plants changed terrestrial ecosystems. Cycads are one of the most ancient lineages of living seed plants with a suite of shared and unique traits that make them ideal models to study evolution of land plants. Among those traits are the evolution of insect pollination, flagellated sperms, symbiosis with cyanobacteria in modified roots and their recent radiation, in the las 10 Ma. In this symposium, we present the most up-to-date genomic, systematic, metabolomic and ecological approaches to study cycad biology and evolution.
Zhang will present three recent cycad nuclear genomes. The genomes confirm the sister position of cycads + Ginkgo as sister to all living gymnosperms. In addition, the genomes will illustrate the spectacular cases of horizontal genome transfer from fungi, genes related to herbivory resistant and the evolution of the cycad Y-sex chromosomes.
Salzman will characterize the famous push-pull cycad pollination mechanisms using phylogenomic and metabolomic approaches.
Cibrián-Jaramillo will address the fascinating symbiotic association between cycads and microbes, especially in their coralloid roots. The authors will present novel approaches combining genomics, metabolomics, and bioinformatics to experimentally describe the role of the symbionts associated to cycads.
The symposium will be complemented by addressing symbiotic and evolutionary processes in cycads. Calonje will be presenting his work on the diversity of the species-rich genus Zamia. Calonje will share his long experience in virtually every aspect of cycad biology. Clugston will share his work on the use of genomic techniques on cycad conservation. The last talk by Villarreal will present new genomic and metabolomic data on the symbiotic association between cycads and phyllosphere microbes.
Our comprehensive symposium may shed light on the origin of key innovations and contemporary evolutionary processes of seed plants.
Speaker 1: Shouzhou Zhang.
Key Laboratory of Southern Subtropical Plant Diversity, Fairy Lake Botanical Garden, Shenzhen & Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenzhen, China.
The Cycads genome and the early evolution of seed plants.
Speaker 2: Shayla Salzman.
University of Georgia
Plant signalling in a cycad-weevil pollination mutualism
Speaker 3: Angélica Cibrián-Jaramillo
Genomic and metabolic of the symbiosis between cycads and microbes
Topics (Up to three): Comparative Genomics / Transcriptomics
Topic 2: Conservation Biology
Topic 3: Plant, Animal, and Microbe Interactions
Justification: Cycads are one of the most ancient lineages of extant seed plants with a suite of unique characters. The early evolution of these characters in seed plants make this group suitable for in-depth genomic and ecological studies. In addition, out of the 331 species of cycads, nearly 65% are considered threatened or vulnerable by CITES. In this symposium we reunite experts on nearly every aspect of cycad biology to discuss the most recent genomic, ecological, conservation and metabolomic approaches. We consider the symposium to be of wide interest for all biologists. The co-organizer is Shayla Salzman.