The diversity of life forms is prima facie evidence of the flexibility of genomes in evolving new functions. Our lab is working to understand the genetic and ecological basis of flower and leaf morphology variation in natural populations. We use integrative approaches, from quantitative genetics to ecology, to better understand how and why phenotypes diversify in the course of evolution. The questions we currently address are: I) Can we measure the adaptive value associated with changes in morphology? II) What are the underlying genetic modifications and III) how do these, in turn, affect gene function and phenotypes? By addressing these questions we hope to better understand how organ geometries are genetically controlled and evolve at a tissue-specific level, as well as how changes in morphology may help plants to successfully adapt to specific ecosystems.
For more info, visit the Sicard lab homepage!