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Abstract Detail

Development and Structure

Teixeira-Costa, Luiza [1].

New perspectives in haustorium structure and evolution across parasitic flowering plants.

The haustorium of parasitic flowering plants is considered “the most plastic of organs” due to its ability to accommodate physiological and anatomical differences between parasite and host plants. This is achieved through the development of vascular connections, which involve the differentiation of a variety of specialized tissues and cell types. A multi-level comparison between “model” parasitic plants, such as Orobanchaceae and Cuscuta species, with members of often neglected groups, such as Lennoaceae, Mitrastemonaceae, and Santalales yields the idea of a shared general body plan of the mature haustorium. This proposed haustorium bauplan is composed of an upper part, including structures associated with mechanical attachment to the host body, and a lower part, including all parasitic tissues and cell types within the host body. The analysis of multi-level convergence can also applied to solving questions of homology between the parasitic plant structures haustorium and other plant organs, which have long puzzled researchers and divided opinions. Considering the structure, molecular development, and functionality of this organ under the framework of continuum and process plant morphology, haustoria are best interpreted as morphological misfits. This interpretation provides more than a resolution to the conflict of haustorium homology and organ identity, opening up new research avenues for the comparison between parasitic plants and other morphological misfits, especially in terms of their evolutionary development.

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1 - Harvard University, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, 22 Divinity Ave, Cambridge, MA, 02138, United States

body plan
continuum morphology
morphological evolution.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: DS2, Development and Structure II
Location: /
Date: Wednesday, July 21st, 2021
Time: 2:00 PM(EDT)
Number: DS2016
Abstract ID:69
Candidate for Awards:None

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