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Developmental mechanism of fusoid cells in the grass leaf and its response to light exposure

Grant number: 19/10854-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): November 04, 2019
Effective date (End): November 03, 2020
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Botany - Plant Morphology
Principal Investigator:Vera Lucia Scatena
Grantee:Thales Henrique Dias Leandro
Supervisor: Lynn Gail Clark
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Rio Claro. Rio Claro , SP, Brazil
Research place: Iowa State University, United States  
Associated to the scholarship:17/10739-4 - Ecology, evolution and development (eco-evo-devo): the role played by fusoid cells in the diversification of Poaceae (Poales), BP.PD


Poaceae is a diverse, ecologically dominant family in which fusoid cells have been reported in seven of its 12 subfamilies: the early-diverging lineages Anomochlooideae, Pharoideae, Puelioideae; Oryzoideae, Bambusoideae and Pooideae; and Panicoideae. Anatomical studies have suggested that the development of fusoid cells is highly associated with shaded habitats. During leaf blade differentiation, fusoid cells increase in size and collapse at maturity, leading to speculation of a putative developmental programmed cell death (PCD) process. In contrast, the development of fusoid cells in leaf sheaths has never been satisfactory explained. This research plan aims to study the leaf sheath development with an emphasis on fusoid cells based on a phylogenetic framework. Ecological experiments will be carried out to test the influence of light exposure on the development of fusoid cells, as well as the occurrence of a PCD process. The results will be interpreted employing an ecological evolutionary developmental biology approach (eco-evo-devo), contributing towards growing knowledge on grass evolution and diversification.

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