Control of corolla monosymmetry in the Brassicaceae Iberis amara.
ABSTRACT: Establishment of morphological novelties has contributed to the enormous diversification of floral architecture. One such novelty, flower monosymmetry, is assumed to have evolved several times independently during angiosperm evolution. To date, analysis of monosymmetry regulation has focused on species from taxa where monosymmetry prevails, such as the Lamiales and Fabaceae. In Antirrhinum majus, formation of a monosymmetric corolla is specified by the activity of the TCP transcription factors CYCLOIDEA (CYC) and DICHOTOMA (DICH). It was shown that establishment of monosymmetry likely requires an early asymmetric floral expression of CYC homologs that needs to be maintained until late floral stages. To understand how CYC homologs might have been recruited during evolution to establish monosymmetry, we characterized the likely CYC ortholog IaTCP1 from Iberis amara (Brassicaceae). Species of the genus Iberis form a monosymmetric corolla, whereas the Brassicaceae are otherwise dominated by genera developing a polysymmetric corolla. Instead of four equally sized petals, I. amara produces two small adaxial and two large abaxial petals. The timing of IaTCP1 expression differs from that of its Arabidopsis homolog TCP1 and other CYC homologs. IaTCP1 lacks an asymmetric early expression but displays a very strong differential expression in the corolla at later floral stages, when the strongest unequal petal growth occurs. Analysis of occasionally occurring peloric Iberis flower variants and comparative functional studies of TCP homologs in Arabidopsis demonstrate the importance of an altered temporal IaTCP1 expression within the Brassicaceae to govern the formation of a monosymmetric corolla.
Project description:BACKGROUND: In the co-evolution between insects and plants, the establishment of floral monosymmetry was an important step in angiosperm development as it facilitated the interaction with insect pollinators and, by that, likely enhanced angiosperm diversification. In Antirrhinum majus, the TCP transcription factor CYCLOIDEA is the molecular key regulator driving the formation of floral monosymmetry. Although most Brassicaceae form a polysymmetric corolla, six genera develop monosymmetric flowers with two petal pairs of unequal size. In the monosymmetric crucifer Iberis amara, formation of the different petal pairs coincides with a stronger expression of the CYC-homolog IaTCP1 in the small, adaxial petals. RESULTS: In this study, RNA-Seq was employed to reconstruct the petal transcriptome of the non-model species Iberis amara. About 9 Gb of sequence data was generated, processed and re-assembled into 18,139 likely Iberis unigenes, from which 15,983 showed high sequence homology to Arabidopsis proteins. The transcriptome gives detailed insight into the molecular mechanisms governing late petal development. In addition, it was used as a scaffold to detect genes differentially expressed between the small, adaxial and the large, abaxial petals in order to understand the molecular mechanisms driving unequal petal growth. Far more genes are expressed in adaxial compared to abaxial petals implying that IaTCP1 activates more genes than it represses. Amongst all genes upregulated in adaxial petals, a significantly enhanced proportion is associated with cell wall modification and cell-cell signalling processes. Furthermore, microarrays were used to detect and compare quantitative differences in TCP target genes in transgenic Arabidopsis plants ectopically expressing different TCP transcription factors. CONCLUSIONS: The increased occurrences of genes implicated in cell wall modification and signalling implies that unequal petal growth is achieved through an earlier stop of the cell proliferation phase in the small, adaxial petals, followed by the onset of cell expansion. This process, which forms the monosymmetric corolla of Iberis amara, is likely driven by the enhanced activity of IaTCP1 in adaxial petals.
Project description:TCP transcription factors from the CYC2-class are involved in the development of monosymmetric flowers in all core eudicot species analysed so far. In Antirrhinum majus, the CYC2/TCP transcription factor CYCLOIDEA (CYC) is the molecular key regulator driving the development of flower monosymmetry (Luo D, Carpenter R, Vincent C, Copsey L, Coen E: Origin of floral asymmetry in Antirrhinum. Nature 1996, 383:794-799). In the Brassicaceae Iberis amara, a stronger expression of the CYC2 gene IaTCP1 in the small adaxial petals likely leads to the reduced petal size in comparison to large abaxial petals, with hardly any IaTCP1 expression. This results in the formation of the monosymmetric Iberis flower (Busch A, Zachgo S: Control of corolla monosymmetry in the Brassicaceae Iberis amara. PNAS 2007, 104:16714-16719). In contrast, the orthologous TCP/CYC2 transcription factor TCP1 from Arabidopsis thaliana, which forms equally sized and shaped petal pairs, only shows an early and transient expression in the adaxial area of floral primordia. This implies that monosymmetry in the Brassicaceae evolved through a heterochronic expression shift of the TCP/CYC2 key regulator gene IaTCP1. Transgenic Arabidopsis plants overexpressing IaTCP1 and TCP1 develop smaller petals whereas transgenic plants overexpressing CYC from Antirrhinum majus produce larger flowers. In any case, petal size is affected. To compare the effects of the three CYC2 TCP transcription factors on downstream (regulatory) networks in Arabidopsis thaliana, a microarray analysis was conducted. The coding sequences of the TCP/CYC2 transcription factors IaTCP1, TCP1 and CYC were cloned into the pBAR vector (GenBank: AJ251014), resulting in the constructs #0522 (IaTCP1), #0569 (TCP1) and #0577 (CYC). In pBAR, all genes are under the control of the CaMV35S-promoter. Arabidopsis plants were transformed (via floral dip) with respective constructs and also with the empty vector (pBar). Transgenic plants (T1) with petal size deviation from the control (plants transformed with the empty vector and wild type) were selfed and resulting T2 lines with petal size deviations from control were selected. Inflorescence buds from secondary inflorescences were harvested from transgenic T2 plants that formed smaller (#0255 or #0569) or larger (#0577) petals in the main inflorescence. Total RNA was isolated and sent to the Integrated Functional Genomics Service at the University of Münster, Germany, which carried out probe preparation, hybridization and statistical analysis of the data. Differential gene expression was always determined from a comparison of gene expression from #0522, #0569 and #0577, respectively, against the control (#pBar; inflorescence gene expression in plants transformed with an empty vector).
Project description:Flower symmetry is of special interest in understanding angiosperm evolution and ecology. Evidence from the Antirrhineae (snapdragon and relatives) indicates that several TCP gene-family transcription factors, especially CYCLOIDEA (CYC) and DICHOTOMA (DICH), play a role in specifying dorsal identity in the corolla and androecium of monosymmetric (bilateral) flowers. Studies of rosid and asterid angiosperms suggest that orthologous TCP genes may be important in dorsal identity, but there has been no broad phylogenetic context to determine copy number or orthology. Here, we compare published data from rosids and asterids with newly collected data from ranunculids, caryophyllids, Saxifragales, and Asterales to ascertain the phylogenetic placement of major duplications in the "ECE" (CYC/TB1) clade of TCP transcription factors. Bayesian analyses indicate that there are three major copies of "CYC" in the ECE clade, and that duplications leading to these copies predate the core eudicots. CYC1 contains no subsequent duplications and may not be expressed in floral tissue. CYC3 exhibits similar patterns of duplication to CYC2 in several groups. Using RT-PCR, we show that, in flowers of Lonicera morrowii (Caprifoliaceae), DipsCYC2B is expressed in the four dorsal petals and not in the ventral petal. DipsCYC3B is expressed in flower and petal primordia, possibly most strongly in the ventral petal.
Project description:An adaptive role of corolla shape has been often asserted without an empirical demonstration of how natural selection acts on this trait. In generalist plants, in which flowers are visited by diverse pollinator fauna that commonly vary spatially, detecting pollinator-mediated selection on corolla shape is even more difficult. In this study, we explore the mechanisms promoting selection on corolla shape in the generalist crucifer Erysimum mediohispanicum Polatschek (Brassicaceae). We found that the main pollinators of E. mediohispanicum (large bees, small bees and bee flies) discriminate between different corolla shapes when offered artificial flowers without reward. Importantly, different pollinators prefer different shapes: bees prefer flowers with narrow petals, whereas bee flies prefer flowers with rounded overlapping petals. We also found that flowers with narrow petals (those preferred by bees) produce both more pollen and nectar than those with rounded petals. Finally, different plant populations were visited by different faunas. As a result, we found spatial variation in the selection acting on corolla shape. Selection favoured flowers with narrow petals in the populations where large or small bees are the most abundant pollinator groups. Our study suggests that pollinators, by preferring flowers with high reward, exert strong selection on the E. mediohispanicum corolla shape. The geographical variation in the pollinator-mediated selection on E. mediohispanicum corolla shape suggests that phenotypic evolution and diversification can occur in this complex floral trait even without specialization.
Project description:Dorsoventral asymmetry of the Antirrhinum corolla depends on expression of the CYC and DICH genes in dorsal petals. One role of these genes is to inhibit DIVARICATA (DIV), a determinant of ventral identity. Therefore, in cyc;dich double mutants ventral identity spreads all around the flower. We show that DIV encodes a protein belonging to the MYB family of transcription factors. Early on in corolla development, DIV affects specifically the growth of ventral and lateral petals but is transcribed in all petals. Analysis of a closely related gene suggests that the lack of effect on dorsal petals is not due to redundancy. More likely, therefore, DIV is regulated posttranscriptionally through a mechanism that depends on CYC and DICH. Later on, DIV affects growth and cell types and is transcribed mostly in a single layer of cells of ventral and lateral petals. This late pattern may itself depend on DIV activity because it fails to be established in a transcribed but inactive div mutant and, conversely, spreads all around the flower in cyc;dich double mutants.
Project description:Shifts in flower symmetry have occurred frequently during the diversification of angiosperms, and it is thought that such shifts play important roles in plant-pollinator interactions. In the model developmental system Antirrhinum majus (snapdragon), the closely related genes CYCLOIDEA (CYC) and DICHOTOMA (DICH) are needed for the development of zygomorphic flowers and the determination of adaxial (dorsal) identity of floral organs, including adaxial stamen abortion and asymmetry of adaxial petals. However, it is not known whether these genes played a role in the divergence of species differing in flower morphology and pollination mode. We compared A. majus with a close relative, Mohavea confertiflora (desert ghost flower), which differs from Antirrhinum in corolla (petal) symmetry and pollination mode. In addition, Mohavea has undergone a homeotic-like transformation in stamen number relative to Antirrhinum, aborting the lateral and adaxial stamens during flower development. Here we show that the patterns of expression of CYC and DICH orthologs have shifted in concert with changes in floral morphology. Specifically, lateral stamen abortion in Mohavea is correlated with an expansion of CYC and DICH expression, and internal symmetry of Mohavea adaxial petals is correlated with a reduction in DICH expression during petal differentiation. We propose that changes in the pattern of CYC and DICH expression have contributed to the derived flower morphology of Mohavea and may reflect adaptations to a pollination strategy resulting from a mimetic relationship, linking the genetic basis for morphological evolution to the ecological context in which the morphology arose.
Project description:Zygomorphic flowers, with bilateral (dorsoventral) symmetry, are considered to have evolved several times independently in flowering plants. In Antirrhinum majus, floral dorsoventral symmetry depends on the activity of two TCP-box genes, CYCLOIDEA (CYC) and DICHOTOMA (DICH). To examine whether the same molecular mechanism of floral asymmetry operates in the distantly related Rosid clade of eudicots, in which asymmetric flowers are thought to have evolved independently, we investigated the function of a CYC homologue LjCYC2 in a papilionoid legume, Lotus japonicus. We showed a role for LjCYC2 in establishing dorsal identity by altering its expression in transgenic plants and analyzing its mutant allele squared standard 1 (squ1). Furthermore, we identified a lateralizing factor, Keeled wings in Lotus 1 (Kew1), which plays a key role in the control of lateral petal identity, and found LjCYC2 interacted with Kew1, resulting in a double mutant that bore all petals with ventralized identity to some extents. Thus, we demonstrate that CYC homologues have been independently recruited as determinants of petal identities along the dorsoventral axis in two distant lineages of flowering plants, suggesting a common molecular origin for the mechanisms controlling floral zygomorphy.
Project description:Brassicaceae is one of the most diversified families in the angiosperms. However, most species from this family exhibit a very similar floral bauplan. In this study, we explore the Brassicaceae floral morphospace, examining how corolla shape variation (an estimation of developmental robustness), integration and disparity vary among phylogenetically related species. Our aim is to check whether these floral attributes have evolved in this family despite its apparent morphological conservation, and to test the role of pollinators in driving this evolution.Using geometric morphometric tools, we calculated the phenotypic variation, disparity and integration of the corolla shape of 111 Brassicaceae taxa. We subsequently inferred the phylogenetic relationships of these taxa and explored the evolutionary lability of corolla shape. Finally, we sampled the pollinator assemblages of every taxon included in this study, and determined their pollination niches using a modularity algorithm. We explore the relationship between pollination niche and the attributes of corolla shape.Phylogenetic signal was weak for all corolla shape attributes. All taxa had generalized pollination systems. Nevertheless, they belong to different pollination niches. There were significant differences in corolla shape among pollination niches even after controlling for the phylogenetic relationship of the plant taxa. Corolla shape variation and disparity was significantly higher in those taxa visited mostly by nocturnal moths, indicating that this pollination niche is associated with a lack of developmental robustness. Corolla integration was higher in those taxa visited mostly by hovering long-tongued flies and long-tongued large bees.Corolla variation, integration and disparity were evolutionarily labile and evolved very recently in the evolutionary history of the Brassicaceae. These floral attributes were strongly related to the pollination niche. Even in a plant clade having a very generalized pollination system and exhibiting a conserved floral bauplan, pollinators can drive the evolution of important developmental attributes of corolla shape.
Project description:Pea (Pisum sativum L.) is a model plant that has been used in classical genetics and organ development studies. However, its large and complex genome has hindered research investigations in pea. Here, we generated transcriptomes from different tissues or organs of three pea accessions using next-generation sequencing to assess single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), and further investigated petal differentially expressed genes to elucidate the mechanisms regulating floral zygomorphy. Eighteen samples were sequenced, which yielded a total of 617 million clean reads, and de novo assembly resulted in 87,137 unigenes. A total of 9044 high-quality SNPs were obtained among the three accessions, and a consensus map was constructed. We further discovered several dorsoventral asymmetrically expressed genes that were confirmed by qRT-PCR among different petals, including previously reported three CYC-like proliferating cell factor (TCP) genes. One MADS-box gene was highly expressed in dorsal petals, and several MYB factors were predominantly expressed among dorsal, lateral, and/or ventral petals, together with a ventrally expressed TCP gene. In sum, our comprehensive database complements the existing resources for comparative genetic mapping and facilitates future investigations in legume zygomorphic flower development.
Project description:Within papilionoid legumes, characterized by flowers with strong bilateral symmetry, a derived condition within angiosperms, Cadia (Cadia purpurea) has reverted to radially symmetrical flowers. Here, we investigate the genetic basis of this morphological reversal. Two orthologues of the floral symmetry gene CYCLOIDEA (CYC) demarcate the adaxial (dorsal) region of the flower in typical papilionoid legumes. In the model legume Lotus japonicus, one of these LegCYC genes has been shown, like CYC, to be required for the establishment of floral bilateral symmetry. This study shows that these genes are expressed in the adaxial region of the typical papilionoid flower of Lupinus, which belongs to the same papilionoid subclade as Cadia. In Cadia, these genes also are expressed, but the expression pattern of one of these has expanded from the adaxial to the lateral and abaxial regions of the corolla. This result suggests that the radial flowers of Cadia are dorsalized and, therefore, are not a true evolutionary reversal but an innovative homeotic transformation, where, in this case, all petals have acquired dorsal identity. This study raises a question over other putative reversals in animals and plants, which also may be cryptic innovations.