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Molecular mechanisms of petal iridescence: how do structural colours arise in flowers?

Objectif

Iridescent animals, such as peacocks and butterflies, owe their stunning colours to the manipulation of light by minute structures organized on or just below their surfaces. Iridescence is common in animals where it acts as mimicry or as a signal for mate selection, but it has been poorly studied in plants. The Glover lab recently discovered that flowers also produce structural colours, visible to pollinators, due to ordered striations (like those on a CD) of the cuticle on the petal epidermis. How and when these features develop is unknown. To unveil the genetic mechanisms behind iridescence, I will carry out high-throughput molecular studies along with microscopic observations and biochemical analysis using Venice Mallow (Hibiscus trionum) as a model species to establish the identities and the functions of genes governing the assembly of epidermal ridges. To conduct this work, I will also benefit from ongoing collaboration with physicists to establish the optical properties of these nanostructures, from behavioural ecology tools present in the lab to test pollinators’ reactions to iridescent petals and from the new methodologies I developed during my PhD. This project will discover original developmental pathways, used by flowering plants to shape their surfaces and communicate with insects.
Leaflet | Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors, Credit: EC-GISCO, © EuroGeographics for the administrative boundaries

Coordinateur

THE CHANCELLOR MASTERS AND SCHOLARSOF THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE

Adresse

Trinity Lane The Old Schools
Cb2 1tn Cambridge

Royaume-Uni

Type d’activité

Other

Contribution de l’UE

€ 200 371,80

Contact administratif

Renata Schaeffer (Ms.)

Informations projet

N° de convention de subvention: 301472

État

Projet clôturé

  • Date de début

    1 Juillet 2012

  • Date de fin

    30 Juin 2014

Financé au titre de:

FP7-PEOPLE

  • Budget total:

    € 200 371,80

  • Contribution de l’UE

    € 200 371,80

Coordonné par:

THE CHANCELLOR MASTERS AND SCHOLARSOF THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE

Royaume-Uni