Abstract Detail



Emerging Leader Lecture - Benjamin Blackman

Blackman, Benjamin [1].

Evolution, Development, and the Predictable Environment.

Plants live in dynamic yet often predictable environments. Many resources and challenges—including light, temperature, moisture, pollinators, and herbivores—reliably cycle in availability or intensity on a daily and/or seasonal basis. Plant species have adapted to cope with these cycles by evolving developmental mechanisms that sense and respond to these oscillating cues such that growth and reproduction occur at the most favorable times of day or year. However, because the daily or seasonal timing of these environmental cycles changes across the landscape, natural variation in these mechanisms for developmental plasticity is maintained within species as populations adapt to their local habitats. My group investigates how and why how and why these responses vary genetically across landscapes and over time in crops and wild populations. In my talk, I will first discuss how our recent studies of solar tracking by sunflowers implicate key roles for the circadian clock, light, and hormonal signaling in the regulation and evolution of this fascinating and complex plant growth behavior. Our work has also revealed the importance of these mechanisms for determining the eastward orientation and fitness of mature sunflower heads for reproductive fitness. Second, I will describe our studies exploring how photoperiodic regulation of flowering evolves along elevation gradients in the common monkeyflower such that populations across the broad geographic range of this species are best able to keep time with their local growing seasons. Our work reveals that, in contrast to many recent demonstrations of convergence at the genetic level, the genomic changes that adapt populations to cope with predictable environments are not themselves highly predictable.


Related Links:
Blackman Lab Website


1 - University Of California, Berkeley, Plant And Microbial Biology, 111 Koshland Hall #3102, Berkeley, CA, 94720, United States

Keywords:
Adaptation
phenotypic plasticity
Evolution
flowering time
photoperiod
heliotropism
Sunflower
monkeyflower
Helianthus
Erythranthe
Mimulus
evo-devo
eco-devo
circadian clock
Elevation.

Presentation Type: Special Presentation
Session: S2, Emerging Leader Lecture
Location: 103/Mayo Civic Center
Date: Monday, July 23rd, 2018
Time: 1:30 PM
Number: S2001
Abstract ID:895
Candidate for Awards:None


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