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Abstract Detail

Evolutionary Developmental Biology (Evo-Devo)

Preston, Jill [1], McKeown, Meghan [2], Zhong, Jinshun [1].

Evolutionary genetics of vernalization responsiveness in the temperate grass clade Pooideae.

The ability of plants to match their reproductive output with favorable environmental conditions has major consequences both for lifetime fitness and geographic patterns of diversity. In temperate ecosystems, some plant species have evolved the ability to use winter chilling (vernalization) as a cue to ready them for spring flowering, a trait known as vernalization responsiveness. However, it is unknown how important the evolution of vernalization responsiveness has been for the colonization and subsequent diversification of taxa within the northern and southern temperate zones. Grasses of subfamily Pooideae, including several important crops such as wheat, barley, and oats, predominate in the northern temperate zone, and it is hypothesized that their radiation was facilitated by the early evolution of vernalization responsiveness. Predictions of this single origin hypothesis are that a response to vernalization is widespread within the subfamily, and that the genetic basis of this trait is conserved. To test these predictions, we are comparing flowering time and genome-wide gene expression of phylogenetically representative pooids under chilling and control conditions. Our data demonstrate that vernalization responsive pooids are phylogenetically widespread, and at least part of the vernalization gene network is conserved throughout the subfamily. These results thus far support the idea that the evolution of vernalization responsiveness was important for the initial transition of pooids out of the tropics and into the temperate zone.

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Related Links:
Preston web site

1 - University of Vermont, Department of Plant Biology, 63 Carrigan Drive, 111 Jeffords Hall, Burlington, VT, 05405, USA
2 - University Of Vermont, Plant Biology, University Of Vermont, 111 Jeffords Hall, Burlington, VT, 05405, USA

Cereal grasses

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: 26
Location: Hall B/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2015
Time: 9:15 AM
Number: 26006
Abstract ID:307
Candidate for Awards:None

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