Department of Biological Sciences
Research Concentration - Plant Biology; Stem Cells & Developmental Biology
College of Arts and Sciences
|Office:||PSC, Room 716|
The transformation of a small group of pluripotent floral stem cells into a flower, with a characteristic arrangement of different organ types, is a complex process involving coordinated cellular behaviors and broad morphological changes. Molecular genetic approaches have uncovered many genes involved in these developmental events but it remains unclear how gene regulatory networks act in spatially and temporally defined mannners to regulate the different aspects of floral organogenesis. We know very little about early steps of floral organogenesis such as the mechanisms controlling the positioning of floral organ initiation within the flower primordium as well as later stages during which cell growth, division and differentiation are integrated to give rise to an organ with a characteristic morphology and function. We have been studying the roles of a family of AINTEGUMENTA-LIKE (AIL) transcription factors in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. AIL proteins are key regulators of several aspects of floral organ organogenesis including floral organ initiation, identity specification, growth and patterning.