Canna and petaloidy in AoB PLANTS

Have you ever wondered how those Canna you see adorning the streets of Berkeley get such pretty flowers?  Hint: its not the petals, its the stamens!!  With financial support from the College of Natural Resources Sponsored Projects for Undergraduate Research, Andrew Brown was able to address this question as an undergraduate in the Specht Lab.  Armed with a 2K independent research award, a pair of garden shears, and some liquid N2, Andrew and graduate student mentor Ana Almeida collected Canna flowers from gardens around Berkeley (including the UC Botanical Garden), dissected early developing flowers from the inflorescences, and characterized the development of the petal and stamen whorls.  In this paper, they show that the petaloid portion of the 1/2 fertile stamen comes from the filament region of the single theca and investigate the expression of various genes known to be involved in floral organogenesis.