Repeated and diverse losses of corolla bilateral symmetry in the Lamiaceae.
ABSTRACT: Independent evolution of derived complex characters provides a unique opportunity to assess whether and how similar genetic changes correlate with morphological convergence. Bilaterally symmetrical corollas have evolved multiple times independently from radially symmetrical ancestors and likely represent adaptations to attract specific pollinators. On the other hand, losses of bilateral corolla symmetry have occurred sporadically in various groups, due to either modification of bilaterally symmetrical corollas in late development or early establishment of radial symmetry.This study integrated phylogenetic, scanning electron microscopy (SEM)-based morphological, and gene expression approaches to assess the possible mechanisms underlying independent evolutionary losses of corolla bilateral symmetry.This work compared three species of Lamiaceae having radially symmetrical mature corollas with a representative sister taxon having bilaterally symmetrical corollas and found that each reaches radial symmetry in a different way. Higher core Lamiales share a common duplication in the CYCLOIDEA (CYC ) 2 gene lineage and show conserved and asymmetrical expression of CYC2 clade and RAD genes along the adaxial-abaxial floral axis in species having bilateral corolla symmetry. In Lycopus americanus , the development and expression pattern of La-CYC2A and La-CYC2B are similar to those of their bilaterally symmetrical relatives, whereas the loss of La-RAD expression correlates with a late switch to radial corolla symmetry. In Mentha longifolia , late radial symmetry may be explained by the loss of Ml-CYC2A , and by altered expression of two Ml-CYC2B and Ml-RAD genes . Finally, expanded expression of Cc-CYC2A and Cc-RAD strongly correlates with the early development of radially symmetrical corollas in Callicarpa cathayana .Repeated losses of mature corolla bilateral symmetry in Lamiaceae are not uncommon, and may be achieved by distinct mechanisms and various changes to symmetry genes, including the loss of a CYC2 clade gene from the genome, and/or contraction, expansion or alteration of CYC2 clade and RAD -like gene expression.
Project description:Malpighiaceae possess flowers with a unique bilateral symmetry (zygomorphy), which is a hypothesized adaptation associated with specialization on neotropical oil bee pollinators. Gene expression of two representatives of the CYC2 lineage of floral symmetry TCP genes, CYC2A and CYC2B, demarcate the adaxial (dorsal) region of the flower in the characteristic zygomorphic flowers of most Malpighiaceae. Several clades within the family, however, have independently lost their specialized oil bee pollinators and reverted to radial flowers (actinomorphy) like their ancestors. Here, we investigate CYC2 expression associated with four independent reversals to actinomorphy. We demonstrate that these reversals are always associated with alteration of the highly conserved CYC2 expression pattern observed in most New World (NW) Malpighiaceae. In NW Lasiocarpus and Old World (OW) Microsteria, the expression of CYC2-like genes has expanded to include the ventral region of the corolla. Thus, the pattern of gene expression in these species has become radialized, which is comparable to what has been reported in the radial flowered legume clade Cadia. In striking contrast, in NW Psychopterys and OW Sphedamnocarpus, CYC2-like expression is entirely absent or at barely detectable levels. This is more similar to the pattern of CYC2 expression observed in radial flowered Arabidopsis. These results collectively indicate that, regardless of geographic distribution, reversals to similar floral phenotypes in this large tropical angiosperm clade have evolved via different genetic changes from an otherwise highly conserved developmental program.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The expression of floral symmetry genes is examined in the CYCLOIDEA lineage following duplication, and these are linked to changes in flower morphology. The study focuses on Dipsacales, comparing DipsCYC2 gene expression in Viburnum (radially symmetrical Adoxaceae) to members of early-diverging lineages of the bilaterally symmetrical Caprifoliaceae (Diervilla and Lonicera). METHODS: Floral tissue from six species, which included dorsal, lateral and ventral regions of the corolla, was dissected. RNA was extracted from these tissues and each copy of DipsCYC2 was amplified with reverse transcriptase PCR. KEY RESULTS: Members of DipsCYC2 were expressed across the corolla in the radially symmetrical Viburnum plicatum. A shift to bilaterally symmetrical flowers at the base of the Caprifoliaceae was accompanied by a duplication of the DipsCYC2 gene, resulting in DipsCYC2A and DipsCYC2B, and by loss of expression of both of these copies in the ventral petal. In Lonicera (Caprifolieae), there is a shift from flowers with two dorsally and three ventrally oriented corolla lobes to a clear differentiation of dorsal, lateral and ventral lobes. This shift entailed a decoupling of expression of DipsCYC2A and DipsCYC2B; DipsCYC2B continues to be expressed in the dorsal and lateral lobes, while DipsCYC2A expression is restricted to just the two dorsal lobes. A reversion to more radially symmetrical flowers within Lonicera was accompanied by a re-expansion of expression of both DipsCYC2A and DipsCYC2B. CONCLUSIONS: The transition to bilateral symmetry in Caprifoliaceae involved: (a) duplication of an ancestral DipsCYC2 gene; (b) the loss of expression of both of these copies in the ventral petal; and (c) changes in the zone of expression, with one copy continuing to be expressed across the dorsal and lateral petals, and the other copy becoming restricted in expression to the dorsal corolla lobes.
Project description:Angiosperms exhibit staggering diversity in floral form, and evolution of floral morphology is often correlated with changes in pollination syndrome. The showy, bilaterally symmetrical flowers of the model species Antirrhinum majus (Plantaginaceae) are highly specialized for bee pollination. In A. majus, Cycloidea (CYC), Dichotoma (DICH), Radialis (RAD), and Divaricata (DIV) specify the development of floral bilateral symmetry. However, it is unclear to what extent evolution of these genes has resulted in flower morphological divergence among closely related members of Plantaginaceae differing in pollination syndrome. We compared floral symmetry genes from insect-pollinated Digitalis purpurea, which has bilaterally symmetrical flowers, with those from closely related Aragoa abietina and wind-pollinated Plantago major, both of which have radially symmetrical flowers. We demonstrate that Plantago, but not Aragoa, species have lost a dorsally expressed CYC-like gene and downstream targets RAD and DIV. Furthermore, the single P. major CYC-like gene is expressed across all regions of the flower, similar to expression of its ortholog in closely related Veronica serpyllifolia. We propose that changes in the expression of duplicated CYC-like genes led to the evolution of radial flower symmetry in Aragoa/Plantago, and that further disintegration of the symmetry gene pathway resulted in the wind-pollination syndrome of Plantago. This model underscores the potential importance of gene loss in the evolution of ecologically important traits.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Flower bilateral symmetry (zygomorphy) has evolved multiple times independently across angiosperms and is correlated with increased pollinator specialization and speciation rates. Functional and expression analyses in distantly related core eudicots and monocots implicate independent recruitment of class II TCP genes in the evolution of flower bilateral symmetry. Furthermore, available evidence suggests that monocot flower bilateral symmetry might also have evolved through changes in B-class homeotic MADS-box gene function. METHODS:In order to test the non-exclusive hypotheses that changes in TCP and B-class gene developmental function underlie flower symmetry evolution in the monocot family Commelinaceae, we compared expression patterns of teosinte branched1 (TB1)-like, DEFICIENS (DEF)-like, and GLOBOSA (GLO)-like genes in morphologically distinct bilaterally symmetrical flowers of Commelina communis and Commelina dianthifolia, and radially symmetrical flowers of Tradescantia pallida. RESULTS:Expression data demonstrate that TB1-like genes are asymmetrically expressed in tepals of bilaterally symmetrical Commelina, but not radially symmetrical Tradescantia, flowers. Furthermore, DEF-like genes are expressed in showy inner tepals, staminodes and stamens of all three species, but not in the distinct outer tepal-like ventral inner tepals of C. communis. CONCLUSIONS:Together with other studies, these data suggest parallel recruitment of TB1-like genes in the independent evolution of flower bilateral symmetry at early stages of Commelina flower development, and the later stage homeotic transformation of C. communis inner tepals into outer tepals through the loss of DEF-like gene expression.
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.
Project description:Several key processes in plant development are regulated by TCP transcription factors. CYCLOIDEA-like (CYC-like) TCP domain proteins have been shown to control flower symmetry in distantly related plant lineages. Gerbera hybrida, a member of one of the largest clades of angiosperms, the sunflower family (Asteraceae), is an interesting model for developmental studies because its elaborate inflorescence comprises different types of flowers that have specialized structures and functions. The morphological differentiation of flower types involves gradual changes in flower size and symmetry that follow the radial organization of the densely packed inflorescence. Differences in the degree of petal fusion further define the distinct shapes of the Gerbera flower types. To study the role of TCP transcription factors during specification of this complex inflorescence organization, we characterized the CYC-like homolog GhCYC2 from Gerbera. The expression of GhCYC2 follows a gradient along the radial axis of the inflorescence. GhCYC2 is expressed in the marginal, bilaterally symmetrical ray flowers but not in the centermost disk flowers, which are nearly radially symmetrical and have significantly less fused petals. Overexpression of GhCYC2 causes disk flowers to obtain morphologies similar to ray flowers. Both expression patterns and transgenic phenotypes suggest that GhCYC2 is involved in differentiation among Gerbera flower types, providing the first molecular evidence that CYC-like TCP factors take part in defining the complex inflorescence structure of the Asteraceae, a major determinant of the family's evolutionary success.
Project description:Chrysanthemum morifolium, one of the most economically important ornamental crops worldwide, is well-known for the elaborate and complex inflorescence which is composed of both bilaterally symmetrical ray florets and radially symmetrical disc florets. Despite continuing efforts, the molecular mechanisms underlying regulation of the two flower types are still unclear so far. CYC-like proteins have been shown to control flower symmetry or regulate flower-type identity in several angiosperm plant lineages. In this study, we conducted comparative analysis of the CmCYC2 genes in two chrysanthemum cultivars and their F1 progenies with various whorls of ray florets. Six CmCYC genes were identified and sequenced, all of which were grouped into the CYC2 subclade. All the six CmCYC2 genes were predominantly expressed in reproductive organs, and in particular in the petal of ray florets. Of these genes, the transcription level of CmCYC2c was highly up-regulated in ray florets of the double-ray flowered heads. In addition, the result that CmCYC2c was highly expressed at key developing stages indicates its role in regulating petal development. Furthermore, overexpression of CmCYC2c in C. lavandulifolium, one of the original species of C. morifolium, led to significant increase in flower numbers and petal ligule length of ray florets. Besides CmCYC2c, the expression of CmCYC2f was also significantly up-regulated in transgenic lines, implying a possible role in regulating development of ray florets. Both results of expression patterns and transgenic phenotypes suggest that CmCYC2c is involved in regulating ray floret identity in the chrysanthemum. This study will be useful for genetic manipulation of flower shape in chrysanthemum and hence promote the process of molecular breeding.
Project description:Symmetry formation is a remarkable feature of biological life forms associated with evolutionary advantages and often with great beauty. Several examples exist in which organisms undergo a transition in symmetry during development. Such transitions are almost exclusively in the direction from radial to bilateral symmetry. Here, we describe the dynamics of symmetry establishment during development of the Arabidopsis gynoecium. We show that the apical style region undergoes an unusual transition from a bilaterally symmetric stage ingrained in the gynoecium due to its evolutionary origin to a radially symmetric structure. We also identify two transcription factors, INDEHISCENT and SPATULA, that are both necessary and sufficient for the radialization process. Our work furthermore shows that these two transcription factors control style symmetry by directly regulating auxin distribution. Establishment of specific auxin-signaling foci and the subsequent development of a radially symmetric auxin ring at the style are required for the transition to radial symmetry, because genetic manipulations of auxin transport can either cause loss of radialization in a wild-type background or rescue mutants with radialization defects. Whereas many examples have described how auxin provides polarity and specific identity to cells in a range of developmental contexts, our data presented here demonstrate that auxin can also be recruited to impose uniform identity to a group of cells that are otherwise differentially programmed.
Project description:Defining and quantifying corolla traits are essential for studying corolla shape variation. Three-dimensional (3D) images of corollas contain comprehensive information regarding corolla structures and are optimal for studying corolla shapes. Conventionally, corolla traits are identified and quantified manually from 3D images. Manual identification is time consuming and labor intensive. In this study, approaches are proposed to automatically identify first-order veins and corolla contours in 3D corolla images. The first-order veins of the corollas were identified using Hessian of Gaussian and Dijkstra's algorithm. The contours of the corollas were identified using vector harmony and node distance thresholding. A total of 130 3D images of 28 species in the subtribe Ligeriinae were collected and used to test the proposed approaches. The successful detection rate reached 86.54%. Two derived traits, contour-vein ratio and corolla angle, were defined and quantified using the first-order veins and corolla contour results to investigate the relationship between corolla shapes and pollination types of the subtribe Ligeriinae. Analyses revealed that the mean corolla contour, mean absolute corolla angle, and mean contour-vein ratio of the ornithophilic species were significantly smaller compared with the other species. The mean corolla contour, mean corolla angle, and mean contour-vein ratio of the melittophilic species were significantly larger compared with those of the ornithophilic species. The proposed method was also applied to certain Gesneriaceae species in the subtribes Gloxiniinae, Streptocarpinae, and Didymocarpinae. The results revealed that the method could be applied to most fresh sympetalous flowers for identifying first-order veins and corolla contours.
Project description:The programmed degradation of macromolecules during petal senescence allows the plant to remobilize nutrients from dying to developing tissues. Ethylene is involved in regulating the timing of nucleic acid degradation in petunia, but it is not clear if ethylene has a role in the remobilization of phosphorus during petal senescence. To investigate ethylene's role in nutrient remobilization, the P content of petals (collectively called the corolla) during early development and senescence was compared in ethylene-sensitive wild type Petunia x hybrida 'Mitchell Diploid' (MD) and transgenic petunias with reduced sensitivity to ethylene (35S::etr1-1). When compared to the total P content of corollas on the day of flower opening (the early non-senescing stage), P in MD corollas had decreased 74% by the late stage of senescence (advanced wilting). By contrast, P levels were only reduced by an average of 32% during etr1-1 corolla (lines 44568 and Z00-35-10) senescence. A high-affinity phosphate transporter, PhPT1 (PhPht1;1), was cloned from senescing petunia corollas by RT-PCR. PhPT1 expression was up-regulated during MD corolla senescence and a much smaller increase was detected during the senescence of etr1-1 petunia corollas. PhPT1 mRNA levels showed a rapid increase in detached corollas (treated at 1 d after flower opening) following treatment with low levels of ethylene (0.1 microl l(-1)). Transcripts accumulated in the presence of the protein synthesis inhibitor, cycloheximide, indicating that PhPT1 is a primary ethylene response gene. PhPT1 is a putative phosphate transporter that may function in Pi translocation during senescence.