EPS Flying Seminar
“Developmental patterning of Asteraceae head meristems”
Prof. Dr. Paula Elomaa, Professor in Horticulture, University of Helsinki
Date: 19. October 2022
Time: 10:00 – 11.00
Location: B0404, Forum
Registration: please use this link
Short description of research interest:
Our research focuses on exploring the regulatory networks connected with inflorescence meristem patterning and flower type differentiation in Asteraceae using Gerbera hybrida as a model. The head-like inflorescences (capitula) in the Asteraceae family are compressed structures that combine distinct flower types into a single flower-like structure. Our aim is to understand how this complexity evolved in flowering plants.
Contact details and affiliation:
Developmental patterning of Asteraceae head meristems
Plant growth occurs through specialized tissues called meristems. Our aim is to understand the functions of inflorescence and flower meristems that generate flowers, seeds and fruits being a key attribute for crop productivity and adaptation of plants. The species in the large Asteraceae plant family are characterized by unique head-like inflorescences that mimic single flowers but in fact may consist of hundreds of individual florets arranged on a flat enlarged receptacle. Intriguingly, the florets in heads are arranged in regular left- and right-curving spirals whose numbers follow the mathematical Fibonacci series. By combining molecular data with computational modeling, we have recently constructed a model to explain the emergence of high Fibonacci numbers of spirals. Our data demonstrates that phyllotactic patterning is established de novo, very early during the head meristem development and is driven by the expansion growth of the meristem. We have further extended the studies to fasciated, non-symmetrical heads and applied synchrotron-based micro-computed tomography to visualize and explore the association of 3D vascular networks of heads with phyllotaxis.
Zhang T, Cieslak M, Owens A, Wang F, Broholm SK, Teeri TH, Elomaa P, Prusinkiewicz P: Phyllotactic patterning of gerbera flower heads. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 118: e2016304118 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2016304118
Prusinkiewicz P, Zhang T, Owens AR, Cieslak M, Elomaa P: Phyllotaxis without symmetry: what can we learn from flower heads? Journal of Experimental Botany 73: 3319-3329 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1093/jxb/erac101
Wednesday, October 19, 2022
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