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Faculty Mentor

Elizabeth McCarthy

Creation Date



Pollination is dependent on flower tube size, for example, pollinators must have a longer tongue to reach nectar in a longer tube. Flower size is dependent on cellular dynamics, the way that cells elongate and divide. Cellular dynamics within the flower tube are measured by observing cell length, width, and number across development. Another factor that may impact cell size, ultimately influencing flower tube size, is polyploidy. Polyploids have duplicated genomes and tend to have larger cells than related diploids. In this study, we use Nicotiana section Repandae polyploids (~4 million years old) and their diploid progenitors to understand the impacts of polyploidy on flower size. We stain flowers across development with acid fuchsin and measure cell length, width, and number. With these measurements, we will investigate the role that polyploidy played in the evolution of the flower size differences observed in Nicotiana section Repandae polyploids and their diploid progenitors.


Nicotiana, Polyploids, flower size