[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Adaptations to new pollinators involve multiple floral traits, each requiring coordinated changes in multiple genes. Despite this genetic complexity, shifts in pollination syndromes have happened frequently during angiosperm evolution. Here we study the genetic basis of floral UV absorbance, a key trait for attracting nocturnal pollinators. In Petunia, mutations in a single gene, MYB-FL, explain two transitions in UV absorbance. A gain of UV absorbance in the transition from bee to moth pollination was determined by a cis-regulatory mutation, whereas a frameshift mutation caused subsequent loss of UV absorbance during the transition from moth to hummingbird pollination. The functional differences in MYB-FL provide insight into the process of speciation and clarify phylogenetic relationships between nascent species.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Main conclusion
Switches between pollination syndromes have happened frequently during angiosperm evolution. Using QTL mapping and reciprocal introgressions, we show that changes in reproductive organ morphology have a simple genetic basis.
In animal-pollinated plants, flowers have evolved to optimize pollination efficiency by different pollinator guilds and hence reproductive success. The two Petunia species, P.
axillaris and P. exserta, display pollination syndromes adapted to moth or hummingbird pollination. For the floral traits color and scent, genetic loci of large phenotypic effect have been well documented. However, such large-effect loci may be typical for shifts in simple biochemical traits, whereas the evolution of morphological traits may involve multiple mutations of small phenotypic effect. Here, we performed a quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis of floral morphology, followed by an in-depth study of pistil and stamen morphology and the introgression of individual QTL into reciprocal parental backgrounds. Two QTLs, on chromosomes II and V, are sufficient to explain the interspecific difference in pistil and stamen length. Since most of the difference in organ length is caused by differences in cell number, genes underlying these QTLs are likely to be involved in cell cycle regulation. Interestingly, conservation of the locus on chromosome II in a different P. axillaris subspecies suggests that the evolution of organ elongation was initiated on chromosome II in adaptation to different pollinators. We recently showed that QTLs for pistil and stamen length on chromosome II are tightly linked to QTLs for petal color and volatile emission. Linkage of multiple traits will enable major phenotypic change within a few generations in hybridizing populations. Thus, the genomic architecture of pollination syndromes in Petunia allows for rapid responses to changing pollinator availability.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: RAC/ROP GTPases coordinate actin dynamics and membrane traffic during polar plant cell expansion. In tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum), pollen tube tip growth is controlled by the RAC/ROP GTPase RAC5, which specifically accumulates at the apical plasma membrane. Here, we describe the functional characterization of RISAP, a RAC5 effector identified by yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) two-hybrid screening. RISAP belongs to a family of putative myosin receptors containing a domain of unknown function 593 (DUF593) and binds via its DUF593 to the globular tail domain of a tobacco pollen tube myosin XI. It also interacts with F-actin and is associated with a subapical trans-Golgi network (TGN) compartment, whose cytoplasmic position at the pollen tube tip is maintained by the actin cytoskeleton. In this TGN compartment, apical secretion and endocytic membrane recycling pathways required for tip growth appear to converge. RISAP overexpression interferes with apical membrane traffic and blocks tip growth. RAC5 constitutively binds to the N terminus of RISAP and interacts in an activation-dependent manner with the C-terminal half of this protein. In pollen tubes, interaction between RAC5 and RISAP is detectable at the subapical TGN compartment. We present a model of RISAP regulation and function that integrates all these findings.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recently divergent species that can hybridize are ideal models for investigating the genetic exchanges that can occur while preserving the species boundaries. Petunia exserta is an endemic species from a very limited and specific area that grows exclusively in rocky shelters. These shaded spots are an inhospitable habitat for all other Petunia species, including the closely related and widely distributed species P. axillaris. Individuals with intermediate morphologic characteristics have been found near the rocky shelters and were believed to be putative hybrids between P. exserta and P. axillaris, suggesting a situation where Petunia exserta is losing its genetic identity. In the current study, we analyzed the plastid intergenic spacers trnS/trnG and trnH/psbA and six nuclear CAPS markers in a large sampling design of both species to understand the evolutionary process occurring in this biological system. Bayesian clustering methods, cpDNA haplotype networks, genetic diversity statistics, and coalescence-based analyses support a scenario where hybridization occurs while two genetic clusters corresponding to two species are maintained. Our results reinforce the importance of coupling differentially inherited markers with an extensive geographic sample to assess the evolutionary dynamics of recently diverged species that can hybridize.
No preview · Article · Oct 2013 · Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Most flowering plants depend on animal vectors for pollination and seed dispersal. Differential pollinator preferences lead to premating isolation and thus reduced gene flow between interbreeding plant populations [1-4]. Sets of floral traits, adapted to attract specific pollinator guilds, are called pollination syndromes . Shifts in pollination syndromes have occurred surprisingly frequently , considering that they must involve coordinated changes in multiple genes affecting multiple floral traits. Although the identification of individual genes specifying single pollination syndrome traits is in progress in many species, little is known about the genetic architecture of coadapted pollination syndrome traits and how they are embedded within the genome . Here we describe the tight genetic linkage of loci specifying five major pollination syndrome traits in the genus Petunia: visible color, UV absorption, floral scent production, pistil length, and stamen length. Comparison with other Solanaceae indicates that, in P. exserta and P. axillaris, loci specifying these floral traits have specifically become clustered into a multifunctional "speciation island" [8, 9]. Such an arrangement promotes linkage disequilibrium and avoids the dissolution of pollination syndromes by recombination. We suggest that tight genetic linkage provides a mechanism for rapid switches between distinct pollination syndromes in response to changes in pollinator availabilities.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2013 · Current biology: CB
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Differences in floral traits, such as petal color, scent, morphology, or nectar quality and quantity, can lead to specific interactions with pollinators and may thereby cause reproductive isolation. Petunia provides an attractive model system to study the role of floral characters in reproductive isolation and speciation. The night-active hawkmoth pollinator Manduca sexta relies on olfactory cues provided by Petunia axillaris. In contrast, Petunia exserta, which displays a typical hummingbird pollination syndrome, is devoid of scent. The two species can easily be crossed in the laboratory, which makes it possible to study the genetic basis of the evolution of scent production and the importance of scent for pollinator behavior.
In an F2 population derived from an interspecific cross between P. axillaris and P. exserta, we identified two quantitative trait loci (QTL) that define the difference between the two species' ability to produce benzenoid volatiles. One of these loci was identified as the MYB transcription factor ODORANT1. Reciprocal introgressions of scent QTL were used for choice experiments under controlled conditions. These experiments demonstrated that the hawkmoth M. sexta prefers scented plants and that scent determines choice at a short distance. When exposed to conflicting cues of color versus scent, the insects display no preference, indicating that color and scent are equivalent cues.
Our results show that scent is an important flower trait that defines plant-pollinator interactions at the level of individual plants. The genetic basis underlying such a major phenotypic difference appears to be relatively simple and may enable rapid loss or gain of scent through hybridization.
Full-text · Article · May 2011 · Current biology: CB
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Two linkage maps were constructed for the model plant Petunia. Mapping populations were obtained by crossing the wild species Petunia axillaris subsp. axillaris with Petunia inflata, and Petunia axillaris subsp. parodii with Petunia exserta. Both maps cover the seven chromosomes of Petunia, and span 970 centimorgans (cM) and 700 cM of the genomes, respectively. In total, 207 markers were mapped. Of these, 28 are multilocus amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers and 179 are gene-derived markers. For the first time we report on the development and mapping of 83 Petunia microsatellites. The two maps retain the same marker order, but display significant differences of recombination frequencies at orthologous mapping intervals. A complex pattern of genomic rearrangements was detected with the related genome of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), indicating that synteny between Petunia and other Solanaceae crops has been considerably disrupted. The newly developed markers will facilitate the genetic characterization of mutants and ecological studies on genetic diversity and speciation within the genus Petunia. The maps will provide a powerful tool to link genetic and genomic information and will be useful to support sequence assembly of the Petunia genome.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the last decade Petunia hybrida has emerged as the model of choice to study volatile benzenoid and phenylpropanoid synthesis, emission and regulation. These
volatiles are synthesized predominantly in the corolla limb and emission is highly regulated, with a circadian rhythm, during
corolla development, pollination and senescence. With all the biochemical and molecular tools available, much of our understanding
of volatile benzenoids/phenylpropanoids has been obtained with Petunia, as illustrated in this chapter.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Phosphatidyl inositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PI 4,5-P2) accumulates in a Rac/Rop-dependent manner in the pollen tube tip plasma membrane, where it may control actin organization and membrane traffic. PI 4,5-P2 is hydrolyzed by phospholipase C (PLC) activity to the signaling molecules inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate and diacyl glycerol (DAG). To investigate PLC activity during tip growth, we cloned Nt PLC3, specifically expressed in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) pollen tubes. Recombinant Nt PLC3 displayed Ca2+-dependent PI 4,5-P2-hydrolyzing activity sensitive to U-73122 and to mutations in the active site. Nt PLC3 overexpression, but not that of inactive mutants, inhibited pollen tube growth. Yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) fused to Nt PLC3, or to its EF and C2 domains, accumulated laterally at the pollen tube tip plasma membrane in a pattern complementary to the distribution of PI 4,5-P2. The DAG marker Cys1:YFP displayed a similar intracellular localization as PI 4,5-P2. Blocking endocytic membrane recycling affected the intracellular distribution of DAG but not of PI 4,5-P2. U-73122 at low micromolar concentrations inhibited and partially depolarized pollen tube growth, caused PI 4,5-P2 spreading at the apex, and abolished DAG membrane accumulation. We show that Nt PLC3 is targeted by its EF and C2 domains to the plasma membrane laterally at the pollen tube tip and that it maintains, together with endocytic membrane recycling, an apical domain enriched in PI 4,5-P2 and DAG required for polar cell growth.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Regulation by Rho-type small GTPases, such as RAC5, is important for the maintenance of polarity in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) pollen tubes. We previously showed that RhoGDI2 is necessary for RAC5 localization. Here, we describe the GTPase activating protein RhoGAP1 that controls the area of RAC5 activity. RhoGAP1 N-terminal and CRIB (for Cdc42/Rac-interactive binding) domains are both necessary for targeting yellow fluorescent protein-RhoGAP1 fusions to the plasma membrane close to, but not in, pollen tube apices. We propose that this localization restricts apical Rho-type GTPase activity from spreading toward the flanks, which ensures the maintenance of RAC signaling at the apex. The CRIB domain is not required but enhances in vitro RhoGAP1 activity toward the pollen tube-specific-RAC5. A mutation reducing GAP activity of RhoGAP1 leads to ballooning pollen tubes resembling those overexpressing RAC5. To ascertain the specific targeting mechanism of RhoGAP1, we isolated a 14-3-3 protein interacting with RhoGAP1. When overexpressed with RhoGAP1, it counteracts the growth-retarding effect of RhoGAP1 overexpression and attenuates RhoGAP1 membrane localization but, overexpressed alone, induces only small architectural changes. We propose that inactivation of RAC5 by the subapically localized RhoGAP1, together with dynamic relocalization of inactivated RAC5 from flanks to tip by RhoGDI2, leads to spatial restriction of RAC5 to pollen tube apices, thereby sustaining polar growth.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rac/Rop-type Rho-family small GTPases accumulate at the plasma membrane in the tip of pollen tubes and control the polar growth of these cells. Nt-RhoGDI2, a homolog of guanine nucleotide dissociation inhibitors (GDIs) regulating Rho signaling in animals and yeast, is co-expressed with the Rac/Rop GTPase Nt-Rac5 specifically in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) pollen tubes. The two proteins interact with each other in yeast two-hybrid assays, preferentially when Nt-Rac5 is prenylated. Transient over-expression of Nt-Rac5 and Nt-RhoGDI2 depolarized or inhibited tobacco pollen tube growth, respectively. Interestingly, pollen tubes over-expressing both proteins grew normally, demonstrating that the two proteins functionally interact in vivo. Nt-RhoGDI2 was localized to the pollen tube cytoplasm and effectively transferred co-over-expressed YFP-Nt-Rac5 fusion proteins from the plasma membrane to this compartment. A single amino acid exchange (R69A), which abolished binding to Nt-RhoGDI2, caused Nt-Rac5 to be mis-localized to the flanks of pollen tubes and strongly compromised its ability to depolarize pollen tube growth upon over-expression. Based on these observations, we propose that Nt-RhoGDI2-mediated recycling of Nt-Rac5 from the flanks of the tip to the apex has an essential function in the maintenance of polarized Rac/Rop signaling and cell expansion in pollen tubes. Similar mechanisms may generally play a role in the polarized accumulation of Rho GTPases in specific membrane domains, an important process whose regulation has not been well characterized in any cell type to date.
Full-text · Article · Jul 2006 · The Plant Journal
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The brassinosteriod-deficient lkb mutant of garden pea (Pisum sativum L.) is characterized by an erectoides phenotype (reduced internode length, thickened stems, epinastic leaves), which is rescued by application of exogenous brassinolide. We show that the LKB gene is the Arabidopsis DIMINUTO/DWARF-1 (DIM/DWF1) homologue of pea. The DIM/DWF1 homologue from lkb plants contains a mutation that may result in reduced enzyme function, thus resulting in the previously shown accumulation of 24-methylenecholesterol and a deficiency of its hydrogenated product, campesterol. This ultimately leads to a deficiency of the biologically active brassionolide. The mutation in the lkb sequence cosegregates with the lkb phenotype. Northern analyis of the LKB gene revealed that the gene is ubiquitously expressed around the plant and that there is no evidence for negative feedback regulation of the gene.
No preview · Article · Jan 2001 · Plant Molecular Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introns in plant nuclear pre-mRNAs are highly enriched in U or U + A residues and this property is essential for efficient splicing. Moreover, 3'-untranslated regions (3'-UTRs) in plant pre-mRNAs are generally UA-rich and contain sequences that are important for the polyadenylation reaction. Here, we characterize two structurally related RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) from Nicotiana plumbaginifolia, referred to as RBP45 and RBP47, having specificity for oligouridylates. Both proteins contain three RBD-type RNA-binding domains and a glutamine-rich N-terminus, and share similarity with Nam8p, a protein associated with U1 snRNP in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Deletion analysis of RBP45 and RBP47 indicated that the presence of at least two RBD are required for interaction with RNA and that domains other than RBD do not significantly contribute to binding. mRNAs for RBP45 and RBP47 and mRNAs encoding six related proteins in Arabidopsis thaliana are constitutively expressed in different plant organs. Indirect immunofluorescence and fractionation of cell extracts showed that RBP45 and RBP47 are localized in the nucleus. In vivo UV crosslinking experiments demonstrated their association with the nuclear poly(A)+ RNA. In contrast to UBP1, another oligouridylate-binding nuclear three-RBD protein of N. plumbaginifolia (Lambermon et al., EMBO J, 2000, 19:1638-1649), RBP45 and RBP47 do not stimulate mRNA splicing and accumulation when transiently overexpressed in protoplasts. Properties of RBP45 and RBP47 suggest they represent hnRNP-proteins participating in still undefined steps of pre-mRNA maturation in plant cell nuclei.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Efficient splicing of higher plant pre-mRNAs depends on AU- or U-rich sequences in introns. Moreover, AU-rich sequences present in 3'-untranslated regions (3'-UTRs) may play a role in 3' end processing of plant mRNAs. Here, we describe the cloning and characterization of a Nicotiana plumbaginifolia nuclear protein that can be cross-linked to U-rich intron and 3'-UTR sequences in vitro, and associates with nuclear poly(A)(+) RNA in vivo. The protein, UBP1, strongly enhances the splicing of otherwise inefficiently processed introns when overexpressed in protoplasts. It also increases the accumulation of reporter mRNAs that contain suboptimal introns or are intronless. The enhanced accumulation is apparently due to UBP1 interacting with the 3'-UTR and protecting mRNA from exonucleolytic degradation. The effect on mRNA accumulation but not on mRNA splicing was found to be promoter specific. The fact that these effects of UBP1 can be separated suggests that they represent two independent activities. The properties of UBP1 indicate that it is an hnRNP protein that functions at multiple steps to facilitate the nuclear maturation of plant pre-mRNAs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In an attempt to elucidate the biological function of villin-like actin-binding proteins in plants we have cloned several genes encoding Arabidopsis proteins with high homology to animal villin. We found that Arabidopsis contains at least four villin-like genes (AtVLNs) encoding four different VLN isoforms. Two AtVLN isoforms are more closely related to mammalian villin in their primary structure and are also antigenically related, whereas the other two contain significant changes in the C-terminal headpiece domain. RNA and promoter/beta-glucuronidase expression studies demonstrated that AtVLN genes are expressed in all organs, with elevated expression levels in certain types of cells. These results suggest that AtVLNs have less-specialized functions than mammalian villin, which is found only in the microvilli of brush border cells. Immunoblot experiments using a monoclonal antibody against pig villin showed that AtVLNs are widely distributed in a variety of plant tissues. Green fluorescent protein fused to full-length AtVLN and individual AtVLN headpiece domains can bind to both animal and plant actin filaments in vivo.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate the role of the actin cytoskeleton in plant growth and development, we have cloned and determined the DNA sequence of a gene encoding an actin-related protein (arp) from Arabidopsis thaliana (AtARP2) and studied its expression patterns. A. thaliana appears to have only one AtARP2 gene which contains 14 introns, an unusually large number when compared to 4 or 5 introns in the actin genes isolated so far. The predicted protein shows high homology to and shares typical peptide insertions with arp2 proteins from other organisms. The AtARP2 transcript is present in all plant tissues, at a very low level, and is down-regulated by light. Promoter-GUS expression studies showed that the AtARP2 promoter directs activity predominantly in a very small number of cells immediately adjacent to the xylem in all organs. In addition, strong expression was observed in pollen grains. We discuss the potential role of an arp2/3 complex in plant development.
No preview · Article · Oct 1999 · Plant Molecular Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have identified the function of the Arabidopsis DIMINUTO/DWARF1 (DIM/DWF1) gene by analyzing the dim mutant, a severe dwarf with greatly reduced fertility. Both the mutant phenotype and gene expression could be rescued by the addition of exogenous brassinolide. Analysis of endogenous sterols demonstrated that dim accumulates 24-methylenecholesterol but is deficient in campesterol, an early precursor of brassinolide. In addition, we show that dim is deficient in brassinosteroids as well. Feeding experiments using deuterium-labeled 24-methylenecholesterol and 24-methyldesmosterol confirmed that DIM/DWF1 is involved in both the isomerization and reduction of the Delta24(28) bond. This conversion is not required in cholesterol biosynthesis in animals but is a key step in the biosynthesis of plant sterols. Transient expression of a green fluorescent protein-DIM/DWF1 fusion protein and biochemical experiments showed that DIM/DWF1 is an integral membrane protein that most probably is associated with the endoplasmic reticulum.