August 30, 2014 at 4:45 pm

PBIO Colloquium: ‘Evolution of Plant Structure, a Paleontological/Developmental Collaboration,’ Sept. 26

The Environmental & Plant Biology Colloquium Series presents Dr. Gar W. Rothwell on The evolution of plant structure, a paleontological/developmental collaboration” on Friday, Sept. 26, at 11:50 a.m. in Porter Hall 104.

Dr. Gar Rothwell

Dr. Gar Rothwell

Rothwell is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Environmental & Plant Biology at Ohio University.

Abstract: Paleontology yields essential evidence for inferring not only evolutionary pattern, but also the genetic basis for evolution within an ontogenetic framework. Plant fossils provide evidence for the pattern of plant evolution in the form of transformational series of structure through time. When coupled with an understanding of variations and systematic distributions of specific genetic regulatory pathways, this approach also provides a venue for testing evolutionary hypotheses. Results of such studies currently are yielding new insights for the evolution and homologies of secondary wood in trees, the parallel evolution of giant trees with bipolar growth, and the ancestral body plan of vascular plants.  The resulting data also form a foundation for future studies that explore the origin of seed plants and the parallel evolution of stem/leaf/root organography in the most common living plants.

Upcoming Colloquia

Oct. 24, Dr. Ralph S. Quatrano, Dean of Engineering and Applied Science and Spencer T. Olin Professor of Biology at Washington University in St. Louis, on “Conservation of protein function across land plants: What has the moss system revealed about the roles of the proteins ABI3 and DEK1 in desiccation tolerance and cell polarity?”

Oct. 31, Dr. Bruce Kohorn, Linnean Professor of Biology and Biochemistry and Director of Biochemistry at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, ME, on “Wall Associated Kinases As Pectin Receptors Mediate Both Growth And Stress Responses By Distinct Pathways.”

Nov. 14, Dr. Cynthia Looy, Assistant Professor of Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley

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