Tuesday, November 5, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
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HUH Seminar Room 125, 22 Divinity Ave., Cambridge

Herbaria Seminar

"How Do Plants Climb? Macroevolutionary Patterns to Fine-scale Cell Wall Dynamics" with Joyce G. Chery, Postdoctoral Researcher, Pennsylvania State University.

Abstract: Woody vines (lianas) are distinct from erect trees and shrub in their ability to move through the forest canopy, thus presenting a fundamental question in evolutionary biology: how do plants climb? To address this question, I leverage tools from evolutionary biology, developmental anatomy, and molecular biology, using climbing woody vines (i.e. lianas) as a study system. Lianas face a unique mechanical demand to twist without breaking which is reflected in their distinct wood anatomy that results in unusual stem conformations that deviate from trees and shrubs. In this talk, I present mechanisms that promote the repeated evolution of novel woody forms, through a case study in a tropical genus of lianas, Paullinia from the Sapindaceae family (Maple family). To address climbing at a finer scale, I will discuss the role of cell wall dynamics as it relates to plant movement, and ongoing projects that link cell biology to plant form and function.

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Harvard University
Center for the Environment

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Phone: (617) 495-0368

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