Warren Herb Wagner Guest Lecture in Plant Evolution: Mosaics, megabases, and matryoshki: a leaf-to-landscape perspective on the symbiotic renaissance

Betsy Arnold, Professor, School of Plant Sciences and EEB, University of Arizona

Betsy Arnold and her dog Betsy Arnold and her dog
Abstract
We are fortunate to be living in one of the most exciting times in the history of symbiosis research: a true renaissance period in which ecological and evolutionary theory, organismal knowledge, and the dual powers of technology and computational biology are framing a new understanding of symbiotic interactions. From studies of diffuse coevolution and horizontal transmission to context- dependency, the -omics of interactions, and new evidence of nested symbioses, recent work is revisiting — and sometimes rewriting — the rules for how we think about 'the living together of unlike organisms.' In this presentation I will focus on one of earth's most prevalent symbioses — the association of endophytic fungi with photosynthetic organisms — to highlight (1) recent findings regarding ecological interactions at levels from leaves to landscapes; (2) new insights into mechanisms underlying plant-fungal associations from local to global scales; and (3) emergent questions, which together speak to the challenge, excitement, and promise that engage us across disciplines and organisms in the broader study of symbiosis.

Light refreshments served at 4 p.m.