Graduate Research Symposium 2010
Saturday, March 27, 2010
The EEB Graduate Student Symposium is an all day event where graduate students present their research to other graduate students and faculty. Any EEB graduate student can present: BSMS, masters, PhD, old and new students. New graduate students usually present research ideas or preliminary data, while those more ‘seasoned’ students present their most recent results, often in preparation for upcoming spring and summer meetings.
|8:30-9:00||Coffee & Tea (drinks only)|
|9:00-9:15||Debra Kendall||Welcome address by the associate dean for life sciences and for research and graduate education|
|9:45-10:00||Jessica Budke||Examining the gametophytic calyptra and its role in sporophyte development using the cord moss (Funaria hygrometrica).|
|10:30-11:00||Morning Break - Drinks and Fruit|
|12:00-1:30||Lunch - Sandwiches and Salad|
Insert Abstract Here...
Examining the gametophytic calyptra and its role in sporophyte development using the cord moss (Funaria hygrometrica).
In bryophytes (mosses, liverworts and hornworts) the diploid sporophyte is small, unbranched, and physically attached to the maternal haploid gametophyte. One of the major maternal influences in moss plants is a cap of gametophyte tissue (the calyptra) that covers the sporophyte’s apex during early developmental stages. Previous studies indicate that the calyptra functions mechanically to influence sporophyte development and is necessary for spore formation. Sporophytes without their calyptra wilt at the apex; they survive only when placed in a high humidity chamber. These observations stimulated the hypothesis that the maternally derived calyptra functions as a waterproof cap, preventing desiccation of the developing sporophyte’s apex. In plants the cuticle, an external layer of lipids and waxes, maintains internal hydration. To explore this hypothesis, I am using scanning and transmission electron microscopy to examine cuticle morphology and development of both the calyptra and sporophyte in the moss Funaria hygrometrica. Results for this species indicate that the calyptra’s cuticle is thicker and more complex than other gametophyte tissues; the cuticle is also present on the calyptra throughout sporophyte development. These observations support the calyptra as a specialized maternal gametophyte structure and provide a mechanism by which the calyptra prevents harmful water loss during critical sporophyte developmental stages. Sporophyte development is directly related to reproductive output and thus evolutionary fitness in mosses. The maternal care provided by the calyptra and its cuticle may have been a critical innovation for the evolutionary success of the ~12,500 moss species worldwide.