Di Stilio Lab

University of Washington, Biology

The Di Stilio lab investigates the evolution and development of plants, focusing on the genetic basis of key innovations. We are broadly interested in genes involved in floral diversification, with a focus on the comparative expression and function of floral transcription factors that funciton in flower meristem identity (LEAFY), organ identity (MADS box family) and organ elaboration (MYB family). Current work is conducted mainly in the genus Thalictrum, a non-core Eudicot in the family Ranunculaceae with a variety of floral form and function and in the model fern Ceratopteris richardii.

Current projects include:

1) The ABC model of flower development in the ranunculid Thalicturm thtalictroides (a non-core eudicot). Over the last several years, we have been investigating the function of B, C, and E-class genes using virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) and mutants.

2) Phylogenyetic analysis of evolutionary rates in traits related to pollination syndrome (wind/insect) in Thalictrum. In collaboraiton with David Tank's lab (U. Idaho).

3) The effect of polyploidy on the evolution of gene function.

4) The role of the flower meristem identity gene LEAFY in a pre-flowering plant lineages (ferns).