Helena Augusto Gioppato
Master Sci. Student (2017- )
MADS-box genes and the development of the corona filaments in Passiflora spp.
An important issue in plant biology is how morphological novelties are produced during evolution. The genus Passiflora represents an example of plants that display complex structures whose origins have not been elucidated yet, such as the floral corona filaments. Much debate is still ongoing in the literature regarding the origin of the floral corona filaments of Passiflora, which have been suggested to be modified stamens, petals or sui generis organs. Our hypothesis is that conserved molecular mechanisms might be playing a role on the ontogenesis of the corona filaments and that the identity of the corona filaments might be assessed through the analysis of the expression patterns of genes belonging to the MADS-box family of transcription factors. Using tools appropriate to the study of ontogenesis and development, including optical and electron microscopy tools, associated to transcriptome and gene expression analysis, we aim to unravel the relationship among particular Passiflora ortologs of MADS-box genes and the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the identity and the ontogenesis of corona filaments.