Spring 2008

Seminar in Evolution: Plant Sexual Diversity

Listed in: Biology, as BIOL-42


Jill S. Miller (Section 01)


The diversity of reproductive strategies and sexual systems among angiosperm species is extraordinary and perhaps unmatched by any other group of organisms. This course will provide a comprehensive introduction to plant sexual diversity through lectures and discussion of the primary literature. Topics will include the evolution and maintenance of sexual polymorphisms, temporal and spatial segregation of gender function in hermaphrodites, self-incompatibility systems, plant-pollinator coevolution, pollinator-mediated selection, hybridization, tradeoffs with asexual modes of reproduction, and the evolution and functional significance of sexual dimorphism. Readings will emphasize integrative studies that use developmental, ecological, population genetic, and phylogenetic approaches to uncover the mechanisms underlying this rich morphological and functional diversity. Three classroom hours per week. Requisite: Biology 23 or 32 or permission from the instructor. Limited to 15 students. Second semester. Professor Miller.