Estefania Elejalde

Undergraduate student

CURRENT PROJECT

I am interested in the evolution of floral attributes that have a direct impact on the reproductive success of the plant, such as floral color, and that have promoted the fascinating evolution and radiation of Angiosperms. I am currently developing my undergraduate thesis, working with a unique parasite-host system composed of Pilostyles boyacensis and Dalea cuatrecasasii, found in the Colombian Eastern Cordillera. Specifically, I am investigating the regulatory mechanisms of pigment production in these plants, with emphasis on the R2R3-MYB transcription factors. We hope that this study will establish a reference for future research in the evolutionary developmental biology of parasitic plants.

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Luis Miguel Prieto

Undergraduate student

CURRENT PROJECT

I am currently interested in assessing LEAFY and PEBP gene expression in fern gametophytes. 

Valentina Molano Botero

Undergraduate student

CURRENT PROJECT

I am interested in comparative flower and fruit anatomy. For my undergraduate thesis I will analyze the flower to fruit transformation of large and small  flowered hemiparasitic Loranthaceae. They have numerous autapomorphies reported such as cotyledon dimorphisms and extensive shifts in endosperms formation. I will focus first on recording the flower to fruit transition in the hemiparasitic Aetanthus colombianus, in order to better understand the structure interpreted as polycotyledonous embryos and evaluate the presence of endosperm. The data obtained will be compared with the developmental series of other small flowered Loranthaceae and published records in the family. 

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