Abstract Detail


Shah, Ria B. [1], Bergen, Anna T [1], Srivastav, Mansa [2], Donoghue, Michael [3], Wright, Haley [4], Merklee, Patrick [4], Ault, Chris [4], Clement, Wendy [5].

A study of floral evolution in Lonicera (Caprifoliaceae) while looking through an interactive lens.

Lonicera (Caprifoliaceae), commonly known as honeysuckles, are a clade of approximately 150 species largely distributed across the northern hemisphere. Lonicera is well known for having bilabiate corollas, though there is much diversity in corolla form across the group. Documented pollinators of Lonicera include bees, hummingbirds, and hawkmoths, yet few studies have applied an evolutionary approach to the study of pollination syndromes across the clade. Here, using a phylogeny of 68 species of Lonicera reconstructed from RADseq data, we scored and analyzed a total of 11 floral traits, four of which are considered in a phylogenetic context here for the first time: flower color, corolla tube width, corolla tube length, and corolla length. Data were obtained from measuring digitized herbarium specimens as well as published species descriptions and personal observations. Maximum parsimony and likelihood ancestral character state reconstructions suggest the ancestral floral form of Lonicera were cream-colored flowers 14-18mm long. Ongoing analyses suggest multiple independent shifts to longer corollas often in association with the evolution of a vine habit. Additionally, we detected multiple shifts to shorter corollas that may co-occur with the evolution of wider corolla tubes. Upon further analysis, we will determine if suites of traits demonstrate correlated evolution helping to describe and identify historical changes in pollination syndromes. Further, these ancestral character state reconstructions formed the basis of an interactive art installation featured as part of the exhibition Meaningful Beauty: The Vibrant Vocabulary of Honeysuckles. The goal of this piece was to demonstrate that various components of plants can change over time and that these components can arise independently via convergent evolution or revert back to ancestral forms. In collaboration with a graphic designer and game designer, models representing each of 15 species of Lonicera were created to clearly display the four traits featured on the tree: leaf fusion, petal arrangement, flower color, and flower orientation. Additionally, models were created for nodes depicting ancestral conditions. Users could navigate the history of changes from root to tip by ‘driving’ through the tree with a joystick and watching an image of an ancestral honeysuckle transform following shifts among character states. This science-art collaboration created an interactive experience that disseminated current research to a broad audience and allowed for individualized experiences when exploring the evolution of plant diversity.

1 - The College of New Jersey, Department of Biology, 2000 Pennington Road, Ewing, New Jersey, 08628, United States
2 - Yale University, Ecology And Evolutionary Biology, 21 Sachem Street, Room 364 New Haven, CT 06511, Environmental Science Center, Room Number 356, New Haven, CT, 06511, United States
3 - Yale University, Department Of Ecology And Evolutionary Biology, 21 Sachem St., New Haven, CT, 06511, United States
4 - The College of New Jersey, Department of Design and Creative Technology, 2000 Pennington Road, Ewing, New Jersey, 08628, United States
5 - The College Of New Jersey, Biology, 2000 Pennington Road, Department Of Biology, Ewing, NJ, 08628, United States

floral evolution
Science communication

Presentation Type: Poster
Number: PMC003
Abstract ID:861
Candidate for Awards:None

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