Year 2 - Evolutionary Novelty

Picture of Vivian Irish

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016, 3:30 pm,

335 Borlaug Hall

"Conservation and innovation in flowering plant morphologies"

Vivian Irish, Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, and of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Yale University

In 1859, Darwin famously wrote “It is generally acknowledged that all organic beings have been formed on two great laws—Unity of Type, and Conditions of Existence.” In this, he emphasized the similarities in body plans that reflect common descent, while at the same time, pointing out that new morphologies could evolve as an adaptation to particular environmental conditions. Flower structure reflects both this unity of type and diversity of form. We will discuss some of the recent progress in characterizing the molecular mechanisms that maintain a consistent floral architecture, as well as those that contribute to the astonishing diversity of flowering plant morphologies.