Summer Course 2014

Plant Morphology 2014: Linking Phenotype to Development

June 9 – 20, 2014

Due to overwhelming interest, plant morphology returned as the topic for the second annual Arnold Arboretum short course. Entitled “Plant Morphology 2014: Linking Phenotype to Development,” the course took place in June 2014. 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: Elena Kramer (Harvard University),  William (Ned) Friedman (Harvard University), Robin Hopkins (Harvard University), Andrew Groover (USDA Forest Service)

Additional information: Plant Morphology 2014 was co-sponsored by the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University and microMORPH, a National Science Foundation Research Coordination Network.


See also: Past Course