May 1, 2020
12:00pm The Hershey Hall Grand Salon, Room 158, Hershey Hall
" Evolution and development of petal surface features that influence animal behaviour "
Flowers and the animals that pollinate them interact at a key point – the petal epidermis. It is this single layer of tissue that often provides the visual surface that advertises nectar and pollen rewards. We take an integrated evo-devo approach to understanding the petal epidermis, and our recent research has focused on its optical and tactile properties. In particular, we have been exploring the function and development of cuticular ridges present on the petal surface of a range of flowering plant species that scatter light, generating a “blue halo” effect which improves foraging efficiency of bumblebee pollinators. I will present recent work on these nanoscale ridges, describing a combination of developmental genetic, evolutionary and pollinator behavioural perspectives.
Host: Lawren Sack and Victoria Sork