Where the Wild Types Are: Exploring the Roots of Developmental Biology

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Nicki Watson

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Nicki Watson, Mary Gehring
Whitehead Institute

At the heart of modern biology lies the model organism—a living system that can be easily maintained and manipulated in the laboratory to shed light on biological processes.

The Gehring Lab uses the model organism Arabidopsis lyrata to interrogate how different genes are expressed as they pass from parent to offspring. This electron micrograph shows the plant’s flower, highlighting the male (yellow) and female (green) reproductive organs in their unmodified, or wild type, state. Through images like these, the W.M. Keck Microscopy Facility helps researchers step out of the weeds of their investigations and bring the beauty of biology into bloom.

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Nicki Watson shares the story behind her image at the exhibit opening ceremony on March 20, 2019.