Proposed Symposium Title: KEY MORPHOLOGICAL INNOVATIONS IN FLOWER EVOLUTION
Abstract: A fundamental goal in evolutionary biology is to understand the mechanisms underlying the morphological diversity in nature. During the evolution of flowering plants, a multitude of key morphological innovations (e.g., spurs, bilateral symmetry, capitulum, and novel color patterns) have occurred and greatly improved the success and evolutionary radiation of many plant lineages. Recent advances in inter-disciplinary approaches and the accumulation of omics datasets have opened new dimensions of evolutionary research for exploring morphological innovations. This symposium aims to broadly cover the recent findings on the genetic bases, molecular and cellular mechanisms of some key morphological innovations associated with the evolution of flowers. So far, four leading researchers in this field have confirmed to give talks in this symposium. They will present their new findings on the evolution of novel color patterns in Clarkia and Mimulus, the mechanisms underlying petal elaborations in the Ranunculaceae, and the evolutionary genetics of inflorescence architectures in the Asteraceae. They will show the power of the combination of multiple analyses including phylogenomics, spatio-temporal transcriptomics, live-imaging analysis, biomechanics, computational modelling, etc. in resolving the mysteries of how floral innovations arose and evolved. Overall, this symposium will provide a platform for researchers to share their latest findings and discuss the future directions on the evo-devo studies of flowers.
Speaker 1: Yao-wu Yuan:
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269, USA.
tentative talk title: Developmental genetics of corolla tube formation, a key morphological innovation during angiosperm evolution.
Speaker 2: Mark Rausher:
French Family Science Center, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA.
tentative talk title: Gene duplication and the evolution of novel floral color patterns in Clarkia.
Speaker 3: Hongzhi Kong:
State Key Laboratory of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China.
tentative talk title: A generalized polarity-based modeling system for plant lateral organ morphogenesis and evolution.
Topics (Up to three): Development and Structure
Topic 2: Macroevolution
Topic 3: Phylogenetics and Phylogenomics
Justification: We think that the proposed symposium will be welcomed by the audience of IBC, for three reasons. First, this symposium will provide an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the evolutionary processes, patterns and mechanisms that have shaped the diversity of flowers. Second, the theme of this symposium fits well for a few topics of IBC, including “Development and Structure” , “Macroevolution” and “Phylogenetics and Phylogenomics”. Third, all the invited speakers are leading researchers in their respective fields. We therefore believe that this symposium will be of great appeal to participants with diverse backgrounds.