Summer Course 2013

Plant Morphology 2013: Linking Phenotype to Development

June 10 – 21, 2013

The first annual Arnold Arboretum short course, “Plant Morphology 2013: Linking Phenotype to Development,” took place in June of 2013. This intensive two-week laboratory and lecture course for advanced undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows covered the fundamental principles of plant form, focusing on developmental dynamics, evolutionary diversification, and ecological and physiological function. Students were presented with the conceptual and analytical tools necessary to interpret the vast array of morphologies that exist among plants. Professors Pamela Diggle (University of Colorado) and Peter Endress (University of Zurich) served as the instructors. This course was limited to 12 students.

Week 1: Vegetative morphology including embryogenesis and establishment of the basic body plan, modes of germination and establishment, concepts of juvenile and adult phases, phyllotaxy, shoot longitudinal symmetry (including heteroblasty), axis thickening, shoot transectional symmetry, branching, structural and functional specialization of shoot branches, leaf development, leaf lateral and longitudinal symmetry, structural and functional specialization of leaves, root development, structural and functional specialization of roots, plant architecture, evo-devo.

Week 2:  Reproductive morphology including inflorescence and flower structure, branching patterns and other features of inflorescences, flower organization and architecture, flower development, phyllotaxy and symmetry, organs of the perianth, androecium and gynoecium, synorganization of floral organs, angiosperm flower diversity, flowers of “basal” angiosperms, monocots, eudicots, the most complex flowers (orchids, asclepiads), structural solutions of functional constraints in reproductive biology, evolutionary trends in flowers.

Evening lecturers:  Peter Del Tredici (Harvard University), Noel (Missy) Holbrook (Harvard University), Elena Kramer (Harvard University), Rachel Spicer (Harvard University), William (Ned) Friedman (Harvard University), Lorna Gibson (MIT), Cynthia Jones (University of Connecticut).

Additional information: Plant Morphology 2013 was co-sponsored by the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University and microMORPH, a National Science Foundation Research Coordination Network.

See also: Past Course