Isolation and Characterization of AGAMOUS-Like Genes Associated With Double-Flower Morphogenesis in Kerria japonica (Rosaceae).
ABSTRACT: Double-flower phenotype is more popular and attractive in garden and ornamental plants. There is great interest in exploring the molecular mechanisms underlying the double-flower formation for further breeding and selection. Kerria japonica, a commercial ornamental shrub of the Rosaceae family, is considered an excellent system to determine the mechanisms of morphological alterations, because it naturally has a single-flower form and double-flower variant with homeotic conversion of stamens into petals and carpels into leaf-like carpels. In this study, Sf-KjAG (AGAMOUS homolog of single-flower K. japonica) and Df-KjAG (AGAMOUS homolog of double-flower K. japonica) were isolated and characterized as two AGAMOUS (AG) homologs that occur strictly in single- and double-flower K. japonica, respectively. Our sequence comparison showed that Df-KjAG is derived from ectopic splicing with the insertion of a 2411 bp transposon-like fragment, which might disrupt mRNA accumulation and protein function, into intron 1. Ectopic expression analysis in Arabidopsis revealed that Sf-KjAG is highly conserved in specifying carpel and stamen identities. However, Df-KjAG did not show any putative C-class function in floral development. Moreover, yeast-two-hybrid assays showed that Sf-KjAG can interact with KjAGL2, KjAGL9, and KjAP1, whereas Df-KjAG has lost interactions with these floral identity genes. In addition, loss-of-function of Df-KjAG affected not only its own expression, but also that of other putative floral organ identity genes such as KjAGL2, KjAGL9, KjAP1, KjAP2, KjAP3, and KjPI. In conclusion, our findings suggest that double-flower formation in K. japonica can be attributed to Df-KjAG, which appears to be a mutant produced by the insertion of a transposon-like fragment in the normal AG homolog (Sf-KjAG) of single-flower K. japonica. Highlights:Sf-KjAG and Df-KjAG are different variations only distinguished by a transposon-like fragment insertion which lead to the evolutionary transformation from single-flower to double-flowers morphogenesis in Kerria japonica.
Project description:In the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, a core eudicot, the floral homeotic C-class gene AGAMOUS (AG) has a dual role specifying reproductive organ identity and floral meristem determinacy. We conduct a functional analysis of the putative AG ortholog ThtAG1 from the ranunculid Thalictrum thalictroides, a representative of the sister lineage to all other eudicots. Down-regulation of ThtAG1 by virus-induced gene silencing resulted in homeotic conversion of stamens and carpels into sepaloid organs and loss of flower determinacy. Moreover, flowers exhibiting strong silencing of ThtAG1 phenocopied the double-flower ornamental cultivar T. thalictroides 'Double White.' Molecular analysis of 'Double White' ThtAG1 alleles revealed the insertion of a retrotransposon causing either nonsense-mediated decay of transcripts or alternative splicing that results in mutant proteins with K-domain deletions. Biochemical analysis demonstrated that the mutation abolishes protein-protein interactions with the putative E-class protein ThtSEP3. C- and E-class protein heterodimerization is predicted by the floral quartet model, but evidence for the functional importance of this interaction is scarce outside the core eudicots. Our findings therefore corroborate the importance and conservation of the interactions between C- and E-class proteins. This study provides a functional description of a full C-class mutant in a noncore ("basal") eudicot, an ornamental double flower, affecting both organ identity and meristem determinacy. Using complementary forward and reverse genetic approaches, this study demonstrates deep conservation of the dual C-class gene function and of the interactions between C- and E-class proteins predicted by the floral quartet model.
Project description:Flowers with more petals are of more ornamental value. It is well known that AGAMOUS (AG) is the core member of the C-class gene which plays an essential role in double flower formation and identification of stamens and carpels in Arabidopsis thaliana. We searched C-class genes in the genome of the carnation, and found two AG orthologs (DcaAGa, DcaAGb). Phylogenetic analysis showed that the two genes were closely related to the euAG subclade. Then we searched the genomes of other Caryophyllales plants (Beta vulgaris, Spinacia oleracea, Chenopodium quinoa) for C-class genes, and found that their C-class genes all belonged to the euAG subclade. Semi-quantitative PCR (sq-PCR) analysis indicated that the expression of DcaAG genes in the single flower phenotype was higher than that in the double flower phenotype. Quantitative real-time RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis showed that the expressions of DcaAG genes in the flower bud were significantly different from those in the root, stem, and leaf between the single and double flower phenotype carnations, and that DcaAG genes were specifically expressed in the stamen and carpel of carnation. Moreover, the expression of other floral organ identity genes (AP1 and AP2, PI and AP3, SEP1 and SEP3 corresponding to the A-, B-, and E-class of genes, respectively) showed no significant difference in all floral organs between the single and double flower phenotype carnations, suggesting that C-class (DcaAG) genes might play an important role in the double flower phenotype in carnation. Petal loss or decrease, precocious flowering, silique shortening, and seed sterility were observed in 35S::DcaAGa and 35S::DcaAGb transgenic Arabidopsis plants. All these results show that DcaAG genes might affect the petal number negatively and have a specific function in stamen and carpel development in carnation.
Project description:Although accumulating evidence suggests that gene regulation is highly stochastic, genetic screens have successfully uncovered master developmental regulators, questioning the relationship between transcriptional noise and intrinsic robustness of development. To identify developmental modules that are more or less resilient to large-scale genetic perturbations, we used the Arabidopsis polymerase II-associated factor 1 complex (Paf1c) mutant vip3, which is impaired in several RNA polymerase II-dependent transcriptional processes. We found that the control of flower termination was not as robust as classically pictured. In angiosperms, the floral female organs, called carpels, display determinate growth: their development requires the arrest of stem cell maintenance. In vip3 mutant flowers, carpels displayed a highly variable morphology, with different degrees of indeterminacy defects up to wild-type size inflorescence emerging from carpels. This phenotype was associated with variable expression of two key regulators of flower termination and stem cell maintenance in flowers, WUSCHEL and AGAMOUS The phenotype was also dependent on growth conditions. Together, these results highlight the surprisingly plastic nature of stem cell maintenance in plants and its dependence on Paf1c.
Project description:Rafflesia, a holoparasitic genus that produces the largest flower in the world is characterized by the absence of leaves, stem and other macroscopic organs. To better understand the molecular regulation of flower development in this genus we isolated and characterized a floral MADS-box gene, namely, RcMADS1 from Rafflesia cantleyi. Heterologous expression analysis in Arabidopsis was chosen because Rafflesia is not amenable to genetic manipulations. RcMADS1 shares sequence similarity with AGAMOUS-LIKE 24 (AGL24) and SHORT VEGETATIVE PHASE (SVP) of Arabidopsis. Ectopic expression of RcMADS1 in Arabidopsis caused early flowering and conversion of sepals and petals into leaf-like structures, and carpels into inflorescences. In 35S::RcMADS1 plants SUPPRESSOR OF OVEREXPRESSION OF CONSTANS 1 (SOC1), a downstream target gene of AGL24, was upregulated. 35S::RcMADS1 plants exhibit early flowering and conversion of the floral meristem into inflorescence meristem, as in 35S::AGL24 plants. Similar to AGL24, RcMADS1 could rescue the late flowering phenotypes of agl24-1 and FRIGIDA, but not the early flowering of svp-41. Based on these results, we propose that RcMADS1 is a functional ortholog of Arabidopsis AGL24.
Project description:A recessive mutation in the Arabidopsis STERILE APETALA (SAP) causes severe aberrations in inflorescence and flower and ovule development. In sap flowers, sepals are carpelloid, petals are short and narrow or absent, and anthers are degenerated. Megasporogenesis, the process of meiotic divisions preceding the female gametophyte formation, is arrested in sap ovules during or just after the first meiotic division. More severe aberrations were observed in double mutants between sap and mutant alleles of the floral homeotic gene APETALA2 (AP2) suggesting that both genes are involved in the initiation of female gametophyte development. Together with the organ identity gene AGAMOUS (AG) SAP is required for the maintenance of floral identity acting in a manner similar to APETALA1. In contrast to the outer two floral organs in sap mutant flowers, normal sepals and petals develop in ag/sap double mutants, indicating that SAP negatively regulates AG expression in the perianth whorls. This supposed cadastral function of SAP is supported by in situ hybridization experiments showing ectopic expression of AG in the sap mutant. We have cloned the SAP gene by transposon tagging and revealed that it encodes a novel protein with sequence motifs, that are also present in plant and animal transcription regulators. Consistent with the mutant phenotype, SAP is expressed in inflorescence and floral meristems, floral organ primordia, and ovules. Taken together, we propose that SAP belongs to a new class of transcription regulators essential for a number of processes in Arabidopsis flower development.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Clianthus maximus is a leguminous perennial with an unusual order of floral organ insertion, and inflorescences produced year round that nearly all abort except during a limited time in autumn. This study aimed to determine at what point in floral organ differentiation abortion occurred and whether the expression of the floral identity genes underlies this cessation in flower development. METHODS: Inflorescences were harvested across an annual cycle and flower development was examined by light and scanning electron microscopy. Expression of the C. maximus-equivalents of LEAFY (LFY), APETALA1 (AP1), PISTILLATA (PI) and AGAMOUS (AG) was monitored simultaneously by quantitative, reverse transcriptase PCR. KEY RESULTS: Only those inflorescences formed in autumn proceeded to anthesis. Organogenesis had not begun in inflorescences that aborted. The C. maximus-equivalents of AP1, PI and AG were expressed in sepals, petals, carpels and stamens, as expected from the ABC model of floral organ identity specification; furthermore, the order of expression of the three genes reflected the unusual pattern of organ differentiation. Low expression of LFY and AP1 was observed during inflorescence abortion. CONCLUSIONS: Predictions of gene expression based on the ABC model were upheld despite the unusual mass abortion of inflorescences and the non-standard pattern of organ formation. The lack of expression of LFY and AP1 in inflorescences may have been the cause of inflorescence abortion.
Project description:Double flower domestication is of great value in ornamental plants and presents an excellent system to study the mechanism of morphological alterations by human selection. The classic ABC model provides a genetic framework underlying the control of floral organ identity and organogenesis from which key regulators have been identified and evaluated in many plant species. Recent molecular studies have underscored the importance of C-class homeotic genes, whose functional attenuation contributed to the floral diversity in various species. Cultivated Camellia japonica L. possesses several types of double flowers, however the molecular mechanism underlying their floral morphological diversification remains unclear.In this study, we cloned the C-class orthologous gene CjAG in C. japonica. We analyzed the expression patterns of CjAG in wild C. japonica, and performed ectopic expression in Arabidopsis. These results revealed that CjAG shared conserved C-class function that controls stamen and carpel development. Further we analyzed the expression pattern of CjAG in two different C. japonica double-flower varieties, 'Shibaxueshi' and 'Jinpanlizhi', and showed that expression of CjAG was highly contracted in 'Shibaxueshi' but expanded in inner petals of 'Jinpanlizhi'. Moreover, detailed expression analyses of B- and C-class genes have uncovered differential patterns of B-class genes in the inner organs of 'Jinpanlizhi'.These results demonstrated that the contraction and expansion of CjAG expression were associated with the formation of different types of double flowers. Our studies have manifested two different trajectories of double flower domestication regarding the C-class gene expression in C. japonica.
Project description:Double-flower Eriobotrya japonica, of which one phenotype is homeotic transformation of sepals into petals, is a new germplasm for revealing the molecular mechanisms underlying the floral organ transformation. Herein, we analyzed the sequence, expression pattern and functional characterization of EjPI, which encoded a B-class floral homeotic protein referred to as PISTILLATA ortholog, from genetically cognate single-flower and double-flower E. japonica. Phylogenetic analysis suggested that the EjPI gene was assigned to the rosids PI/GLO lineage. Analysis of protein sequence alignments showed that EjPI has typical domains of M, I, K, and C, and includes a distinctive PI motif at the C-terminal region. Compared with asterids PI/GLO lineage, the K1 and K3 subdomains of EjPI both contain a single amino acid difference. Subcellular localization of EjPI was determined to be in the nucleus. Expression pattern analysis revealed that EjPI expressed not only in petals, filament, and anther in single-flower E. japonica, but also in petaloid sepals in double-flower E. japonica. Meanwhile, there were high correlation between EjPI transcript level and petaloid area within a sepal. Furthermore, 35S::EjPI transgenic wild-type Arabidopsis caused the homeotic transformation of the first whorl sepals into petaloid sepals. Ectopic expression of EjPI in transgenic pi-1 mutant Arabidopsis rescued normal petals and stamens. These results suggest expression pattern of EjPI is associated with the formation of petaloid sepal. Our study provides the potential application of EjPI for biotechnical engineering to create petaloid sepals or regulate floral organ identity in angiosperms.
Project description:Plants are known for their capacity to regenerate organs, such as shoot, root and floral organs. Recently, a number of studies contributed to understanding the mechanisms of shoot and root regeneration. However, the mechanisms underlying floral organ regeneration are largely unknown. In this study, we established a carpel regeneration system in which two types of carpels were induced by exogenous cytokinin. For type I, all the floral organs in the regenerated inflorescence were transformed into carpels. For type II, carpels were generated directly from callus. The transcript level of AGAMOUS (AG), the carpel identity gene, was up-regulated during carpel induction. The expression signals of AG were detected in the initiating carpel primordia and regenerating carpels, and co-localized with those of two Type-B ARABIDOPSIS RESPONSE REGULATORs (ARRs), ARR1 and ARR10. Repression of either AG or type-B ARRs reduced carpel regeneration. Binding analyses showed that ARR1 and ARR10 directly bound to transcriptional regulatory regions of AG and positively regulated its expression. In addition, the expression of type-B ARRs overlapped with that of AG in the floral primordia in planta. Defects in type-B ARRs reduced the number of carpels. The results indicate that type-B ARRs control carpel regeneration through activating AG expression. Our results provide new information for understanding the mechanism of carpel formation.
Project description:MADS-domain proteins are important transcription factors involved in many aspects of plant reproductive development. In this study, a MADS-box gene, Glycine max AGAMOUS-LIKE1 (GmAGL1), was isolated from soybean flower. The transcript of GmAGL1 was expressed in flowers and pods of different stages in soybean and was highly expressed in carpels. GmAGL1 is a nucleus-localized transcription factor and can interact directly with SEP-like proteins in soybean flowers. Ectopic overexpression of GmAGL1 resulted in the absence of petals in Arabidopsis. Moreover, morphological changes in the valves were observed in 35S:GmAGL1 Arabidopsis fruits that dehisced before the seeds reached full maturity. GmAGL1 was found to be sufficient to activate the expression of Arabidopsis ALC, IND, STK, SEP1, and SEP3. Therefore, our data suggest that GmAGL1 may play important roles in both floral organ identity and fruit dehiscence.