Angiosperms display an incredible diversity of flower colors, although relatively little is known about macroevolutionary trends in flower color and the genetic basis for different classes of color transitions. My talk will focus on the distribution of red flowers and the genetic basis for the origin of this trait. Studies in a handful of taxa, including my own in Iochroma, suggest that the convergent evolution of red flowers often involve a similar suite of genetic changes, including loss of expression, changes in enzymatic function, and loss of function mutations. I will discuss the implications of these genetic changes for the macroevolution of flower color.
Host: Professor Stephen Smith
Coffee and cookies will be served at 4 p.m.