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Abstract Detail

Evolutionary Developmental Biology (Evo-Devo)

Roberts, Wade [1], Roalson, Eric H. [2].

Understanding Flower Diversification in Achimenes (Gesneriaceae): Utilizing a Comparative Transcriptomics Approach.

Achimenes is a genus of 26 species in the Gesneriaceae, native to Mexico and Central America, which shows remarkable variation in floral form. This includes flowers that are funnelform, salverform, or tubular, white, yellow, pink, purple, and red, and with or without corolla spurs. Floral form appears to be quite variable among closely related species with homoplastic derivations of shape, color, and corolla spurs. As such, this genus represents a unique opportunity to study the molecular genetic mechanisms involved in the development and diversification of flowers in Achimenes. In a comparative study, we performed RNA-seq across four species and three developmental time points in order to examine gene expression differences related to the floral phenotypes. Samples were taken from immature bud, stage D, and pre-anthesis flowers in the following species: A. cettoana (purple, salverform), A. erecta (red, salverform), A. misera (white, funnelform), and A. patens (purple, salverform, corolla spur). Transcriptomes were assembled utilizing multiple de novo assembly programs and merged to produce a final contig assembly containing primary and secondary transcripts. Reads pertaining to developmental stages were mapped back to the contigs and estimations of relative gene expression were produced. We identified large sets of co-expressed genes by clustering with a Poisson mixture model and will predict key biological processes that are differentially enriched in each cluster. Further characterization will involve orthology assignment and detailed annotation. This study provides novel biological insights into the molecular mechanisms involved in flower diversification in Achimenes.

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1 - Washington State University, School Of Biological Sciences, P.O Box 644236, Pullman, WA, 99164-4236, USA
2 - Washington State University, School Of Biological Sciences, Abelson Hall 339, Pullman, WA, 99164-4236, USA, 509/332-2181

floral development

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: 26
Location: Hall B/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2015
Time: 8:30 AM
Number: 26003
Abstract ID:241
Candidate for Awards:None

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