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A5: Plasticity of leaf form and function in the highly successful global weed Capsella bursa-pastoris

Prof. Dr. Michael Lenhard

Institute for Biochemistry and Biology, University of Potsdam, Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 24-25, 14476 Potsdam-Golm

Tel. +49-331-9775580, michael.lenharduni-potsdamde



A5 (Lenhard) studies the plasticity of leaf form and function to ambient temperature. Leaf traits, such as margin dissection, specific leaf area or stomatal density, are plastic in many species, including the highly successful global weed Capsella bursa-pastoris, and some of this plasticity is likely adaptive. Genes underlying the variation in plasticity of leaf form and function will be identified by quantitative genetics. An artificial selection experiment in the outbreeding species C. grandiflora will test the possibility to modify plasticity by direct selection and reveal the amount of relevant standing genetic variation.


Project-related publications

Fujikura, U., Jing, R., Hanada, A., Takebayashi, Y., Sakakibara, H., Yamaguchi, S., Kappel, C., Lenhard, M. (2018). Variation in splicing efficiency underlies morphological evolution in CapsellaDevelopmental Cell, doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2017.11.022

Sas, C., Müller, F., Kappel, C., Kent, T.V., Wright, S.I., Hilker, M., Lenhard, M. (2016). Repeated inactivation of the first committed enzyme underlies the loss of benzaldehyde emission after the selfing transition in CapsellaCurrent Biology; doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2016.10.026

Sicard, A., Kappel, C., Lee, Y.-W., Wozniak, N., Marona, C., Stinchcombe, J.R., Wright, S.I., Lenhard, M. (2016). Standing genetic variation in a tissue-specific enhancer underlies selfing-syndrome evolution in CapsellaPNAS; doi: 10.1073/pnas.1613394113

Sicard, A., Thamm, A., Marona, C., Lee, Y.W., Wahl, V., Stinchcombe, J., Wright, S.I., Kappel, C., Lenhard M. (2014). Repeated Evolutionary Changes of Leaf Morphology Caused by Mutations to a Homeobox Gene. Current Biology, doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2014.06.061