During the vegetative phase, multiple sets of leaves originate from the meristem. Subsequently, a complex network of genes determines the transformation within a meristem that gives rise to the reproductive organs. Many years of research have elucidated key regulatory genes involved in this process. We are now using the knowledge we have of these genes to investigate their evolutionary history.
We use transgenic approaches to study the function of closely-related genes from different species to characterize how their functional abilities have changed through time. The ultimate aim is to understand how the complex regulatory network that controls plant development has originated.
About the Speaker
Chiara joined the Evolution and Development Research Group, headed by Professor Beverley Glover, in 2014. Before Cambridge, Chiara held a Marie Curie and BBSRC ERA-PG Post-Doctoral fellowships at the University of Leeds working in Brendan Davies' Laboratory. She completed her studies at the University of Milan where she obtained her PhD in the lab of Lucia Colombo and Martin Kater.
During her PhD and Postdoctoral fellowships, Chiara worked on transcription factors involved in several aspects of flower development and flowering. While studying plant development she became interested in evolution. At Cambridge, her research focuses on investigating the evolution of transcription factor protein complex involved in epidermal cell specification in plants.