Dr Beverley Glover, Reader
Evolution and Development
Welcome to the Evolution and Development lab in the Department of Plant Sciences at Cambridge. Plant development is a much more plastic process than animal development, and, because it is environmentally entrained, fits individual plants to their particular habitat. Our objective is to understand the ways in which single gene products control different aspects of plant development and thus contribute to the fitness of plants. We are also interested in the evolution of developmental programmes, looking at the sequence and function of key genes throughout the plant kingdom, in an effort to associate molecular changes with morphological transitions. Much of our molecular work is carried out using model plant species, such as Arabidopsis thaliana and Antirrhinum majus, but our evolutionary work extends throughout the plant kingdom. Our main area of interest at the moment is the evolution and development of floral traits that are important in attracting animal pollinators, and our lab incorporates a bee behavioural facility to explore pollinator responses to the morphologies we study. We are currently exploring the evolution of flower colour in Antirrhinum (see Matthew Dorling and Veronica Bennett), the development and function of floral iridescence (see Edwige Moyroud, Alison Reed and Silvia Vignolini), evolutionary shifts in petal epidermal morphology in the Solanaceae and Legumes (see Katrina Alcorn), the evolutionary re-acquistion of petals in the Caryophyllales (see Sam Brockington) and the development of insect-attracting petal spots on South African daisies (see Rachel Walker).