Dr Minsung KimPhD


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Research interests

Throughout the evolutionary history of plants, novel traits have emerged and disappeared, creating the incredible diversity of plant forms. To understand this diversity, it is essential to trace and test histories of underlying developmental mechanisms which generate certain traits or structures and how these genetic mechanisms were involved in the evolution of plant forms. Genetic changes responsible for the morphological evolution could have been invented anew or recruited from the common toolkit of mechanisms that already existed. It is interesting to test if the same (parallelism) or different (convergence) genetic mechanism(s) were utilized to generate a novel trait or structure. It is also important to address why certain traits (or genetic mechanisms) are common in some groups but not others, and what selection pressures constrain a trait in a certain niche. I am particularly interested in the evolution of genetic mechanisms controlling diverse flower shapes and leaf forms. Flowers and leaves are highly adapted structures and the key elements of plant evolution. Recent advances in understanding how model organisms develop, and enriched genome data in other species, are providing a great opportunity to understand the evolution of developmental mechanisms controlling the leaf and flower forms in diverse species. Currently, we are studying genetic components on leaf shape variation in Potentillas and on flower head development in Senecio vulgaris, an aster family.


Research and projects

No current projects are available for public display