Lena Hileman

Associate Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Ph.D., Harvard University, 2002
Primary office:
Haworth Hall

Dr. Hileman's research focuses on understanding the evolution of plant development with a focus on floral diversification.

Why is there such an amazing diversity of flower form? One reason is that flowers have been shaped over evolutionary time by selective pressures imposed through plant-pollinator interactions. However, in order for different floral forms to evolve, changes must occur in the underlying genetic programs that specify flower developmental patterning. In my lab we study how these flower developmental programs have evolved, through changes in gene number, gene expression and protein function, to pattern differences in flower form between species. This field of research is called developmental evolution or “evo-devo”. To address questions of flower developmental evolution, we take a number of diverse approaches including phylogenetic studies, molecular developmental genetic approaches, and studies of molecular evolution.

Selected Publications

  • Wessinger, C.A., Hileman, L.C. 2016. Accessibility, constraint, and repetition in adaptive floral evolution. Developmental Biology doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2016.05.003.
  • O’Meara, B.C., Smith, S.D., Armbruster, W.S., Harder, L.D., Hardy, C., Hileman, L.C., Hufford, L., Litt, A., Magallon, S., Smith, S.A., Stevens, P.F., Fenster, C.B., Diggle, P.K. 2016. Nonequilibrium dynamics and floral trait interactions shape extant angiosperm diversity.
  • Wessinger, C.A., Freeman, C.C., Mort, M.E., Rausher, M.D., Hileman, L.C. 2016. Multiplexed shotgun genotyping resolves species relationships within the recently radiated North American genus Penstemon. American Journal of Botany 103:912-922. doi: 10.3732/ajb.1500519.
  • Preston, J C, S A Jorgensen, R Orozco, and L C Hileman. "Paralogous SQUAMOSA PROMOTER BINDING PROTEIN-LIKE (SPL) genes differentially regulate leaf initiation and reproductive phase change in petunia." Planta 243: 429-40. doi:10.1007/s00425-015-2413-2. ISSN: 0032-0935. PMID: 26445769
  • Colicchio, J M, F Miura, J K Kelly, T Ito, and L C Hileman. "DNA methylation and gene expression in Mimulus guttatus." BMC genomics 16 (7 July 2015): 507. doi:10.1186/s12864-015-1668-0. PMID: 26148779 PMCID: PMC4492170
  • Colicchio, J M, P J Monnahan, J K Kelly, and L C Hileman. "Gene expression plasticity resulting from parental leaf damage in Mimulus guttatus." New Phytologist 205, no. 2 (January 2015): 894-906. doi:10.1111/nph.13081
  • Preston, J.C., Barnett, L.L., Kost, M.A., Oborny, N.J., Hileman, L.C. 2014. Optimization of virus-induced gene silencing to facilitate evo-devo studies in the emerging model species Mimulus guttatus DC. (Phrymaceae). Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 99:301-312.
  • Wessinger, C.A., Hileman, L.C., Rausher, M.D. 2014. Identification of major QTLs underlying floral pollination syndrome divergence in Penstemon. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 369(1648) doi: 10.1098/rstb.2013.0349.
  • Hileman, L.C. 2014. Trends in flower symmetry evolution revealed through phylogenetic and developmental genetic advances. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 369(1648). doi: 10.1098/rstb.2013.0348
  • Hileman, L.C. 2014. Bilateral flower symmetry – how, when and why? Current Opinion in Plant Biology 17:146-152.
  • Brockington, S. F., R. Alvarez-Fernandez, J. B. Landis, K. Alcorn, R. W. Walker, M. M. Thomas, L. C. Hileman, and B. J. Glover. 2013. "Evolutionary analysis of the MIXTA gene family highlights potential targets for the study of cellular differentiation" Molecular Biology and Evolution. 30. 526-540.
  • Baker, R. L., L. C. Hileman, and P. K. Diggle. 2012. "Patterns of shoot architecture in locally adapted populations are linked to intraspecific differences in gene regulation" New Phytologist. 196. 271-281.
  • Preston, J. C. and L. C. Hileman. 2012. "Parallel evolution of TCP and B-class genes in Commelinaceae flower bilateral symmetry" EvoDevo. 3. 6.
  • Landis, J. B., L. L. Barnett, and L. C. Hileman. 2012. "Evolution of petaloid sepals independent of shifts in B-class MADS box gene expression" Development, Genes and Evolution. 222. 19-28.
  • Preston, J. C., L. C. Hileman, and P. Cubas. 2011. "Reduce, reuse, and recycle: Developmental evolution of trait diversification" American Journal of Botany. 98. 397-403.
  • Preston, J. C., C. C. Martinez, and L. C. Hileman. 2011. "Gradual disintegration of the floral symmetry gene network is implicated in the evolution of a wind-pollination syndrome" Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA. 108(6). 2343-2348.
  • Scoville, A. G., L. L. Barnett, S. A. Bodbyl-Roels, J. K. Kelly, and L. C. Hileman. 2011. "Differential regulation of a MYB transcription factor is correlated with transgenerational epigenetic inheritance of trichome density in Mimulus guttatus" New Phytologist. 191. 251-263.
  • Preston, J. C. and L. C. Hileman. 2010. "SQUAMOSA-PROMOTER BINDING PROTEIN 1 initiates flowering in Antirrhinum majus through the activation of meristem identity genes" The Plant Journal. 62. 704-712.
  • Hileman, L. C. and V. F. Irish. 2009. "More is better: The uses of developmental genetic data to reconstruct perianth evolution" American Journal of Botany. 96. 83-95.
  • Preston, J. C. and L. C. Hileman. 2009. "Developmental genetics of floral symmetry evolution" Trends in Plant Science. 14(3). 147-154.
  • Preston, J. C., M. A. Kost, and L. C. Hileman. 2009. "Conservation and diversification of the symmetry developmental program among close relatives of snapdragon with divergent floral morphologies" New Phytologist. 182(3). 751-762.
  • Drea, S., L. C. Hileman, G. de Martino, and V. F. Irish. 2007. "Functional analyses of genetic pathways controlling petal specification in poppy" Development. 134. 4157-4166.
  • Hileman, L. C., J. Sundstrom, A. Litt, M. Q. Chen, T. Shumba, and V. F. Irish. 2006. "Molecular and phylogenetic analyses of the MADS-box gene family in Tomato" Molecular Biology and Evolution. 23(11). 2245-2258.
  • Baum, D. A. and L. C. Hileman. 2006. "Genetic model for the origin of flowers" Flowering and its manipulation. edited by Ainsworth, C..
  • Hileman, L. C., S. Drea, G. de Martino, A. Litt, and V. F. Irish. 2005. "Virus-induced gene silencing is an effective tool for assaying gene function in the basal eudicot species Papaver somniferum (opium poppy)" Plant Journal. 44. 334-341.
  • Smith, J. F., L. C. Hileman, M. J. Powell, and D. A. Baum. 2004. "Evolution of GCYC, a Gesneriaceae homolog of CYCLOIDEA, within subfamily Gesneriodeae (Gesneriaceae)" Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 31(2). 765-79.
  • Smith, J. F., S. B. Draper, L. C. Hileman, and D. A. Baum. 2004. "A phylogenetic analysis within tribes Gloxinieae and Gesnerieae (Gesnerioideae: Gesneriaceae)" Systematic Botany. 29(4). 947-958.
  • Hileman, L. C. and D. A. Baum. 2003. "Why do paralogs persist? Molecular evolution of CYCLOIDEA and related floral symmetry genes in Antirrhineae (Veronicaceae)" Molecular Biology and Evolution. 20(4). 591-600.
  • Hileman, L. C., E. M. Kramer, and D. A. Baum. 2003. "Differential regulation of symmetry genes and the evolution of floral morphologies" Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA. 100(22). 12814-12819.
  • Hileman, L. C., M. C. Vasey, and V. T. Parker. 2001. "Phylogeny and biogeography of the Arbutoideae (Ericaceae): Implications for the Madrean-Tethyan hypothesis" Systematic Botany. 26. 131-143.
  • Shu, G., W. Amaral, L. C. Hileman, and D. A. Baum. 2000. "LEAFY and the evolution of rosette flowering in violet cress (Jonopsidium acaule, Brassicaceae)" American Journal of Botany. 87(634-641).
  • Cullings, K. W. and L. C. Hileman. 1998. "The Monotropoideae is a monophyletic sister group to the Arbutoideae (Ericaceae): a molecular test of Copeland's hypothesis" Madroño. 44. 3.
  • Markos, S. E., L. C. Hileman, M. C. Vasey, and V. T. Parker. 1998. "Phylogeny of the Arctostaphylos hookeri complex (Ericaceae) based on (nr)DNA data" Madroño. 45. 187-199.

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