Morphological variation between individuals is the basis for species delimitation. Analysing the underlying genetic base for this morphological variation is currently one of the most exciting challenges for botanists.
The extensive RBGE living collections allows us to study the expression of genes in a diverse range of plant families, and to examine the genetic behaviour of traits that differ between species. This allows us to study morphological evolution at the DNA nucleotide level.
Our work is built on robust phylogenetic analyses and on morphological studies. Morphological analysis of flowers in the early diverging core eudicots illustrates the diversity from which the typical eudicot flower evolved, and suggests the developmental transistions involved. Other studies focus on groups with strong systematic and phylogenetic backgrounds at RBGE, namely Gesneriaceae and Begonia.
- The genetic basis of tropical diversity in Begonia
- Understanding meristem function in the morphologically flexible genus Streptocarpus
- Genes controlling floral form and pollination syndromes in Streptocarpus
- The evolution of flowers in the core eudicots
- LEAFY genes and the day-length response in Begonia
- CYCLOIDEA-like genes in the evolution of floral asymmetry
- LEAFY and bulbil development in Titanotrichum
- Ontogenetic research using Gesneriaceae