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Abstract Detail

Emerging Model Species for Developmental, Evolutionary and Functional Analyses

Hodges, Scott [1].

Aquilegia: A model species for the study of recent and ancient evolutionary genomic studies.

Species in the flowering plant genus Aquilegia have undergone a very recent adaptive radiation and present a unique opportunity to investigate the molecular genetic changes underlying adaptations. Species in this genus have spectacularly different floral morphologies with specializations to different pollinators. In addition, species differ radically in their habitats ranging from coastal forests to desert springs to the high alpine. Because species in the genus are cross-compatible, it should be possible to dissect the genetic basis for essentially any trait in any species. Currently, a diverse array of molecular genomic tools are being created for Aquilegia. These include ESTs (>85,000), genetic and physical maps, BAC end-sequencing and gene silencing through VIGS. We have already used some of these resources to investigate the molecular basis of convergent evolution for floral color and found strong evidence for convergence at the molecular level. These resources have also led to investigations of the evolutionary origins of a novel floral organ, staminodia. At a broader phylogenetic scale, comparative genomic studies will be particularly amenable because Aquilegia is a member of the basal eudicot family Ranunculaceae, which is nearly equidistant between the eudicot model systems such as Arabidopsis and the monocot model systems such as rice. Given these current resources and attributes, Aquilegia is now slated for whole-genome sequencing through the Joint Genome Institute. Because sequence variation is low among species of Aquilegia, all of these genomic resources will likely be applicable to the approximately 70 species of the genus and likely many other close relatives.

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Related Links:
Aquilegia ESTs
Aquilegia formosa BACs and physical map
Aquilegia whole genome sequencing

1 - University of California Santa Barbara, Department of Ecology Evolution And Marine Biology, Santa Barbara, California, 93106-9610, USA

Floral color
Flower development.

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: SY05
Location: Stevens 1/Hilton
Date: Monday, July 9th, 2007
Time: 9:15 AM
Number: SY05003
Abstract ID:2262

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