https://www.polity.org.za
Deepening Democracy through Access to Information
Home / News / All News RSS ← Back
PROJECT|UCT
PROJECT|UCT
project|uct
Close

Email this article

separate emails by commas, maximum limit of 4 addresses

Sponsored by

Close

Article Enquiry

UCT scientists win grant to study genetics of floral asymmetry

Close

Embed Video

UCT scientists win grant to study genetics of floral asymmetry

UCT scientists win grant to study genetics of floral asymmetry

11th May 2021

By: Thabi Madiba
Creamer Media Senior Research Assistant and Reporter

ARTICLE ENQUIRY      SAVE THIS ARTICLE      EMAIL THIS ARTICLE

Font size: -+

University of Cape Town (UCT) scientists will collaborate to pinpoint the genes involved in floral asymmetry in South African plants and to characterise the developmental sequence of floral development.

This follows the winning of a prestigious research grant from the International Human Frontier Science Program Organisation awarded to UCT Department of Molecular and Cell Biology's Professor Nicola Illing and a research team of international scientists.

Advertisement

At UCT, Illing will collaborate with Department of Molecular and Cell Biology Associate Professor Robert Ingle and Department of Human Biology Professor Dirk Lang.

“Within the next three years, the research team will investigate the genetics of how symmetry is broken in mirror-image flowers of two endemic South African plants, Wachendorfia paniculata and Cyanella alba and compare this to Heteranthera multiflora, found across the Americas,” said Illing.

Advertisement

Stellenbosch University Department of Biological Sciences' Professor Bruce Andersen will also be contributing ecological expertise in the field studying the movement of pollen by insects.

The project emerged after Illing and Professor Michael Lenhard spent time exploring areas of potential collaboration while Illing was on sabbatical in Potsdam in 2019.

Other team members include Dr Eva Deinum of the Department of Mathematical and Statistical Methods of Wageningen University and Research, in the Netherlands and Professor Spencer Barrett of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto.

Illing and her colleagues are interested in cases where an individual has only left- or only right-handed flowers, respectively.

They know that the direction of style bending is genetically determined as half the population of plants bare only left-handed flowers and the other half right-handed flowers. 

“The big question we want to answer is how a difference in DNA leads to a reproducible directional decision by floral organs during development. Moreover, the example of mirror-symmetric flowers provides an opportunity to link the molecular control of left-right asymmetry to direct ecological consequences. In particular, this is thought to be an adaptation that promotes efficient outbreeding between individuals of a species,” added Illing.

 

EMAIL THIS ARTICLE      SAVE THIS ARTICLE ARTICLE ENQUIRY

To subscribe email subscriptions@creamermedia.co.za or click here
To advertise email advertising@creamermedia.co.za or click here

Comment Guidelines

About

Polity.org.za is a product of Creamer Media.
www.creamermedia.co.za

Other Creamer Media Products include:
Engineering News
Mining Weekly
Research Channel Africa

Read more

Subscriptions

We offer a variety of subscriptions to our Magazine, Website, PDF Reports and our photo library.

Subscriptions are available via the Creamer Media Store.

View store

Advertise

Advertising on Polity.org.za is an effective way to build and consolidate a company's profile among clients and prospective clients. Email advertising@creamermedia.co.za

View options
Free daily email newsletter Register Now
Register Close