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Mr Clive Lundquist

Mr Clive Lundquist

Mr Clive Lundquist


A limited number of tropical plants have blue-iridescent leaves but even fewer have been properly investigated to identify the colour-producing mechanisms at work. One of my aims as part of Heather Whitney's group looking at plant iridescence is to study these plants to see what keys they hold to the production of structural colour.


Generally, iridescent plants only develop colour-producing nanostructures under certain environmental (particularly spectral) conditions. Another of my aims is to test the environmental triggers that initiate or inhibit the development of these structures by subjecting a range of plants to various spectral environments and measure their responses. Earlier studies have shown the ratio of red:far red light is crucial for Selaginella (Hébant & Lee, 1984) but initial results suggest that a complex array of other factors may be important for other taxa.


As well as looking for environmental triggers I am hoping to find the genetic triggers for the control of iridescence in certain plants. These investigations will be aided by the plants’ plastic responses to environmental cues and will follow protocols set by fellow students at Bristol over the next couple of years.


Hébant, Charles and David W. Lee. 1984. "Ultrastructural Basis and Developmental Control of Blue Iridescence in Selaginella Leaves". American Journal of Botany. 71 (2): 216-219.



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