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Abstract Detail

Time to dig: the importance of underground storage organs in plant evolution

Eserman, Lauren [1], Leebens-Mack, Jim [2].

Evolutionary history of storage roots in morning glories.

Storage roots are an important adaptation to harsh environmental conditions, typically found in plants from dry or fire-prone habitats. Many species distributed across the morning glory family, Convolvulaceae, form storage roots, including cultivated sweet potato, Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam. Through several comparative studies of storage root evolution and development, we have discovered the following. First, storage root evolution is highly labile, and storage roots were derived independently at least ten times in morning glories, a group of plants with approximately 650 species. Second, storage roots evolved independently numerous times within the Batatas complex, which contains sweet potato and 14 wild relatives. Finally, anatomical and transcriptomic analyses revealed that storage roots of sweetpotato and Distimake dissectus, two distantly related morning glory species, utilize a common core set of genes in storage root formation despite exhibiting different storage root developmental patterns. Taken together, the results support a multifaceted picture of storage root evolution and development, suggesting this is a complex morphological trait with numerous evolutionary origins.

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1 - Atlanta Botanical Garden, Conservation & Research, 1345 Piedmont Ave NE, Atlanta, GA, 30309, United States
2 - University Of Georgia, Plant Biology, 2101 Miller Plant Sciences, Athens, GA, 30602, United States

underground storage organs

Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Session: CO07, Time to Dig: the importance of underground organs in plant evolution.
Location: Tucson J/Starr Pass
Date: Tuesday, July 30th, 2019
Time: 10:30 AM
Number: CO07007
Abstract ID:392
Candidate for Awards:None

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