Abscission zones in grasses and their modification during domestication
Hao Hu, Nikee Shrestha
All plants need to disperse their propagules. In grasses, dispersal is accompanied by the formation of an abscission zone, but we have found that this varies significantly in morphology across the grasses. In collaboration with the Kellogg Lab at the Danforth Plant Sciences Center we found that the transcriptome profiles for abscission zones also varies significantly between distantly related species (Setaria, rice, Brachypodium). We are presently characterizing a novel form of abscission zone in pearl millet and its wild relatives (Cenchrus americanus), and using the close relationship between Cenchrus and Setaria to ask whether there is more conservation in genetic regulation between them than across the grasses as a whole.