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Department of Plant Sciences

How floral development helps us understand floral evolution

In a team effort, the Glover and Brockington labs have worked together to write the annual John M. Coulter Review for the International Journal of Plant Sciences. These Reviews are designed to provide a unique opportunity for scientists working at the forefront of their fields to share their own insights and updates on the latest developments in plant biology. They are named in honor of John Merle Coulter (1851-1928), first Professor of Botany at the University of Chicago, who founded the International Journal of Plant Sciences.

In this review the group have explored the potential for comparative developmental biology to provide insight into two fundamental areas of evolutionary enquiry: the origin of novel traits and the recurrent appearance of similarity in evolution. They have then applied this theoretical framework to explore how developmental genetics has been used to understand the evolutionary origin of novelty within the context of the angiosperm flower, looking at the origin of the flower itself, and subsequently addressing the origin of extra sets of floral organs, highly derived floral organs, and elaborated floral outgrowths.

Research was published in:

Beverley J. Glover, Chiara A. Airoldi, Samuel F. Brockington, Mario Fernández-Mazuecos, Cecilia Martínez-Pérez, Greg Mellers, Edwige Moyroud, Lin Taylor. How Have Advances in Comparative Floral Development Influenced Our Understanding of Floral Evolution? DOI: 10.1086/681562