Developmental genetics of allometric variation between species.

Project Details

Description

This project was a collaboration with geneticists at John Innes Centre, Norwich, and computer scientists at University of East Anglia. It examined the genetic and development basis for differences in organ shape and size (allometry) between plants, using Antirrhinum (snapdragon) species that have leaves and petals of different sizes.

Layman's description

This project was a collaboration with geneticists at John Innes Centre, Norwich, and computer scientists at University of East Anglia. It examined the genetic and development basis for differences in organ shape and size (allometry) between plants, using Antirrhinum (snapdragon) species that have leaves and petals of different sizes.

Key findings

In collaboration, we showed that Antirrhinum leaves and petals have co-evolved in size because of developmental constraints and that diversity in organ size between species can be explained without directional selection.



We introgressed QTL underlying inter-species differences in organ size and shape into an isogenic background and identified transposon-induced mutations in the three QTL with strongest effects. This lead to identification of one of the QTL genes.



Using software from our collaborators, we identified QTL underlying inter-species variation in heteroblasty – the predictable change in leaf shape and size within individual plants – and found that heteroblasty can evolve independently from overall organ or plant size and other developmental phase changes because it is under separate genetic control.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date1/10/0530/09/08

Funding

  • BBSRC: £244,096.00

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