The origin of red flowers: genetic mechanisms, ecological drivers and macroevolutionary patterns

Angiosperms display an incredible diversity of flower colors, although relatively little is known about macroevolutionary trends in flower color and the genetic basis for different classes of color transitions. My talk will focus on the distribution of red flowers and the genetic basis for the origin of this trait.  Studies in a handful of taxa, including my own in Iochroma, suggest that the convergent evolution of red flowers involve a similar suite of genetic changes, including loss of expression, changes in enzymatic function, and loss of function mutations.  I will discuss the implications of these genetic changes for the macroevolution of flower color and the ecological factors that drive these color transitions.

Speaker: Dr. Stacey Smith

Speaker Institution: Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado

Event Date: 03-24-2015

Event Start Time: 4:00 PM

Event Location: Anatomy/Zoology Building W118

Mixer Time: 3:30 PM

Mixer Location: Anatomy/Zoology Building E112

Host: Dan Sloan