Functional analyses of genetic pathways controlling petal specification in poppy.
ABSTRACT MADS-box genes are crucial regulators of floral development, yet how their functions have evolved to control different aspects of floral patterning is unclear. To understand the extent to which MADS-box gene functions are conserved or have diversified in different angiosperm lineages, we have exploited the capability for functional analyses in a new model system, Papaver somniferum (opium poppy). P. somniferum is a member of the order Ranunculales, and so represents a clade that is evolutionarily distant from those containing traditional model systems such as Arabidopsis, Petunia, maize or rice. We have identified and characterized the roles of several candidate MADS-box genes in petal specification in poppy. In Arabidopsis, the APETALA3 (AP3) MADS-box gene is required for both petal and stamen identity specification. By contrast, we show that the AP3 lineage has undergone gene duplication and subfunctionalization in poppy, with one gene copy required for petal development and the other responsible for stamen development. These differences in gene function are due to differences both in expression patterns and co-factor interactions. Furthermore, the genetic hierarchy controlling petal development in poppy has diverged as compared with that of Arabidopsis. As these are the first functional analyses of AP3 genes in this evolutionarily divergent clade, our results provide new information on the similarities and differences in petal developmental programs across angiosperms. Based on these observations, we discuss a model for how the petal developmental program has evolved.
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ABSTRACT: The involvement of PISTILLATA (PI) and APETALA (AP) transcription factors in the development of floral organs has previously been elucidated but little is known about their upstream regulation. In this investigation, two novel mutants generated in Papaver somniferum were analyzed - one with partially petaloid sepals and another having sepaloid petals. Progeny from reciprocal crosses of respective mutant parent genotypes showed a good fit to the monogenic Mendelian inheritance model, indicating that the mutant traits are likely controlled by the single, recessive nuclear genes named "Pps-1" and "OM" in the partially petaloid sepal and sepaloid petal phenotypes, respectively. Both paralogs of PISTILLATA (PapsPI-1 and PapsPI-3) were obtained from the sepals and petals of P. somniferum. Ectopic expression of PapsPI-1 in tobacco resulted in a partially petaloid sepal phenotype at a low frequency. Upregulation of PapsPI-1 and PapsAP3-1 in the petal and the petal part of partially petaloid sepal mutant and down-regulation of the same in sepaloid petal mutant indicates a differential pattern of regulation for flowering-related genes in various whorls. Similarly, it was found that the recessive mutation OM in sepaloid petal mutant downregulates PapsPI-1 and PapsAP3-1 transcripts. The recessive nature of the mutations was confirmed by the segregation ratios obtained in this analysis.PLoS ONE 06/2014; 9(6):e101272. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0101272 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: DEFICIENS (DEF)- and GLOBOSA (GLO)-like proteins constitute two sister clades of floral homeotic transcription factors that were already present in the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) of extant angiosperms. Together they specify the identity of petals and stamens in flowering plants. In core eudicots, DEF- and GLO-like proteins are functional in the cell only as heterodimers with each other. There is evidence that this obligate heterodimerization contributed to the canalization of the flower structure of core eudicots during evolution. It remains unknown as to whether this strict heterodimerization is an ancient feature that can be traced back to the MRCA of extant flowering plants or if it evolved later during the evolution of the crown group angiosperms.Annals of Botany 06/2014; 114(7). DOI:10.1093/aob/mcu094 · 3.30 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background The production of heather (Calluna vulgaris) in Germany is highly dependent on cultivars with mutated flower morphology, the so-called diplocalyx bud bloomers. So far, this unique flower type of C. vulgaris has not been reported in any other plant species. The flowers are characterised by an extremely extended flower attractiveness, since the flower buds remain closed throughout the complete flowering season. The flowers of C. vulgaris bud bloomers are male sterile, because the stamens are absent. Furthermore, petals are converted into sepals. Therefore the diplocalyx bud bloomer flowers consist of two whorls of sepals directly followed by the gynoecium.ResultsA broad comparison was undertaken to identify genes differentially expressed in the bud flowering phenotype and in the wild type of C. vulgaris. Transcriptome sequence reads were generated using 454 sequencing of two flower type specific cDNA libraries. In total, 360,000 sequence reads were obtained, assembled to 12,200 contigs, functionally mapped, and annotated. Transcript abundances were compared and 365 differentially expressed genes detected. Among these differentially expressed genes, Calluna vulgaris PISTILLATA (CvPI) which is the orthologue of the Arabidopsis B gene PISTILLATA (PI) was considered as the most promising candidate gene. Quantitative Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (qRT PCR) was performed to analyse the gene expression levels of two C. vulgaris B genes CvPI and Calluna vulgaris APETALA 3 (CvAP3) in both flower types. CvAP3 which is the orthologue of the Arabidopsis B gene APETALA 3 (AP3) turned out to be ectopically expressed in sepals of wild type and bud bloomer flowers. CvPI expression was proven to be reduced in the bud blooming flowers.Conclusions Differential expression patterns of the B-class genes CvAP3 and CvPI were identified to cause the characteristic morphology of C. vulgaris flowers leading to the following hypotheses: ectopic expression of CvAP3 is a convincing explanation for the formation of a completely petaloid perianth in both flower types. In C. vulgaris, CvPI is essential for determination of petal and stamen identity. The characteristic transition of petals into sepals potentially depends on the observed deficiency of CvPI and CvAP3 expression in bud blooming flowers.BMC Plant Biology 01/2015; 15(1):8. DOI:10.1186/s12870-014-0407-z · 3.94 Impact Factor