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Abstract Detail

Development and Structure

Patterson, Erin [1], Heeney, Michelle [2], Bartlett, Madelaine [3].

The evolution and development of awns in the grass subfamily Pooideae.

Awns, projections from the outermost protective tissue of grass flowers, appear in almost every clade of grasses, with highly variable morphologies. They likely play complex roles for the plants that bear them, participating in photosynthesis as well as seed dispersal and establishment. While a handful of genes involved in awn development are known, awns remain relatively understudied. First, we use the model species Brachypodium distachyon, a relative of wheat and barley from the Pooideae grass subfamily, to further examine awn development and genetics. In particular, we take advantage of an existing B. distachyon mutant, awnless1 (awl1), which shows defects in lignin deposition, leaf midrib development, and gynoecia development in addition to awnlessness. We examine these phenotypes and find evidence that a 90kb deletion containing a conserved regulatory region is responsible for the awl1 mutation. To examine the evolutionary history of awns, we have also mapped awn traits to the most recent Pooideae phylogeny, containing over 400 species, and performed ancestral state reconstruction. We show that awns are highly homoplasious, being lost and regained multiple times in their evolutionary history.

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1 - University Of Massachusetts, Plant Biology Graduate Program, 204C French Hall, 230 Stockbridge Rd, Amherst, MA, 01003, United States
2 - UMass Amherst, Biology, 611 N. Pleasant St, Amherst, MA, 01002, USA
3 - University Of Massachusetts Amherst, Biology Department, 611 North Pleasant St., 221 Morrill 3, Amherst, MA, 01003, United States

none specified

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: DS1, Development and Structure I
Location: /
Date: Tuesday, July 20th, 2021
Time: 11:45 AM(EDT)
Number: DS1008
Abstract ID:804
Candidate for Awards:None

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