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Title: Developmental genetics and evolution of plant form in Streptocarpus
Author: Harrison, Cecily Jill
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2002
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The mechanisms by which genetic mutation translates to morphological variation between species are poorly understood, but there is increasing support for the involvement of homeobox genes in generating morphological novelty. Homologues of a knotted-like homeobox gene, that is involved in determining meristem identity in model plants, were isolated from different species of Streptocarpus which show marked morphological variation, and these were named Sknox1 genes. Crosses were made between two species with different form, which suggested that their differences were determined by two loci, consistent with previous reports. To test whether Sknox1 was involved in generating morphological differences between species of Streptocarpus, its expression was analysed in three species with different growth form. This showed conventional expression in a species with caulescent form, but novel patterns of expression in that in species with one-leafed or rosette-like form. Differences in expression of Sknox1 therefore correlate with interspecific differences in form. Genetic analysis demonstrated that Sknox1 did not directly cause morphological differences between species. Sknox1 introns showed substantial variation between species. Intron sequences showed evidence of concerned evolution and sometimes contained a repetitive element that may have arisen by gene conversion.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available