Fixing Complex Genotypes in Medicinal Plants: Matching Plants to Humans

Fixing Complex Genotypes in Medicinal Plants: Matching Plants to Humans

Friday September 7th
3:20 PM - 3:45 PM
Peller Estates Ballroom A
Speakers: Dr. Tim Sharbel

Presentation

An organism’s choice to reproduce with or without sex has long puzzled evolutionary biologists. Apomixis, a natural form of reproduction in plants whereby seeds are produced asexually to make genetic clones of the mother plant, has evolved repeatedly from sexual ancestors in many species. Apomixis is of interest on a number of levels, ranging from population genetics to evolution, but also from an applied perspective, as it represents a disruptive technology which could significantly change agricultural practices (e.g. fixing hybrid vigour in crops). The goal of my presentation will be to describe how we go from understanding the evolution of naturally-occurring asexual plants, to identifying the genes responsible for asexuality, to applying these genes to crop plants.