“Why all eukaryotes have homeodomain genes; a view from land plants”
One innovation of eukaryotes is sex, which establishes a life cycle alternating between haploid (one set of chromosomes) and diploid (two sets) phases. The transition from haploid to diploid is via fertilization while that from diploid to haploid is via meiosis. In several lineages of eukaryotic life multicellularity has evolved in one or both of the phases. A key innovation in land plants was the evolution of multicellular bodies in both haploid and diploid phases of the life cycle — an alternation of generations. I will discuss the ancestral genetic mechanism by which the developmental program of the diploid generation is initiated in land plants.
Professor John Bowman Short Bio:
BSc in Biochemistry from the University of Illinois; PhD at Caltech with Elliot Meyerowitz working on Arabidopsis flower development. Postdoc with David Smyth (Monash Uni) working on flower development. 1995-2006 University of California, Davis working on leaf development. 2006-present Monash Uni investigating fundamental questions in land plant development with an evolutionary perspective. Elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Sciences in 2014.