Cancelled: Tangled Bank Seminar 25 March 2020
As a measure to prevent spread of Coronavirus the seminar has been cancelled.
Seminar by Mario Vallejo-Marin (University of Stirling) on "Buzz pollination: The ecology and evolution of buzzing bees and vibrating flowers " and Christian Parisod (University of Bern) on "Transposons and genome evolution in natural plant populations."
University of Stirling
About half of all bee species have evolved the capacity to produce vibrations to remove pollen from flowers. In turn, flowers have repeatedly evolved increasingly specialised morphologies that require bee vibrations to release any pollen at all, giving rise to the syndrome of buzz pollination. Although known for more than a 100 years, we are still at the early stages of understanding how buzz pollination works and why does it evolve in the first place. Here I will present recent results from my lab addressinghow buzz pollination functions, and to what extent bee and floral characteristics mediate the production and transmission of vibrations, and ultimately pollen release.
I am an evolutionary ecologist interested in plant evolution and speciation. I studied Biology at the National University of Mexico (UNAM), with a focus on plant-predator interactions. For my PhD, I studied the evolution of sexual reproductive strategies in plants at Duke University, USA. I continued my work on the evolution of plant reproduction at the University of Toronto. Since 2008, I am a Faculty member at the University of Stirling, Scotland, where I have been studying rapid evolution in invasive species, the role of hybridisation and polyploidy in plant speciation, and buzz pollination.
Transposons and genome evolution in natural plant populations
University of Bern
Transposons are selfish jumping genes with an elusive impact on evolutionary processes in their host plant populations. Our work supports their overall accumulation along with nearly-neutral diversification of large-genome species. In Mediterranean wild wheats (Aegilops spp), incompatible transposons accumulated and promoted genome-wide reproductive isolation. In populations of the Alpine rock-cress (Arabis alpina), transposons were shown to interact with the gene space and to interfere with adaptive processes along chromosomes. The role of transposons as evolutionary ballast or powerhouse must be further quantified to shed light on what makes the bulk of genomic DNA.
Prof. Christian Parisod works at the University of Bern on the evolutionary genomics of plant adaptation and speciation. He is mostly interested in the impact of transposons, hybridization and polyploidy on evolutionary processes shaping genomes among populations and species.