Implications of region-specific gene expression for development of the partially fused petunia corolla.
ABSTRACT: Angiosperm petal fusion (sympetaly) has evolved multiple times independently and is associated with increased specificity between plants and their pollinators. To uncover developmental genetic changes that might have led to the evolution of sympetaly in the asterid core eudicot genus Petunia (Solanaceae), we carried out global and fine-scale gene expression analyses in different regions of the corolla. We found that, despite several similarities with the choripetalous model species Arabidopsis thaliana in the proximal-distal transcriptome, the Petunia axillaris fused and proximal corolla tube expresses several genes that in A. thaliana are associated with the distal petal region. This difference aligns with variation in petal shape and fusion across ontogeny of the two species. Moreover, differential gene expression between the unfused lobes and fused tube of P. axillaris petals revealed three strong candidate genes for sympetaly based on functional annotation in organ boundary specification. Partial silencing of one of these, the HANABA TARANU (HAN)-like gene PhGATA19, resulted in reduced fusion of Petunia hybrida petals, with silencing of both PhGATA19 and its close paralog causing premature plant senescence. Finally, detailed expression analyses for the previously characterized organ boundary gene candidate NO APICAL MERISTEM (NAM) supports the hypothesis that it establishes boundaries between most P. axillaris floral organs, with the exception of boundaries between petals.
Project description:Changes in flower morphology may influence the frequency and specificity of animal visitors. In Petunia (Solanaceae), adaptation to different pollinators is one of the factors leading to species diversification within the genus. This study provides evidence that differential expression patterns of MAWEWEST (MAW) homologs in different Petunia species may be associated with adaptive changes in floral morphology. The Petunia × hybrida MAW gene belongs to the WOX (WUSCHEL-related homeobox) transcription factor family and has been identified as a controller of petal fusion during corolla formation. We analyzed the expression patterns of P. inflata and P. axillaris MAW orthologs (PiMAW and PaMAW, respectively) by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), reverse transcription-quantitative PCR (qRT-PCR) and in situ hybridization in different tissues and different developmental stages of flowers in both species. The spatial expression patterns of PiMAW and PaMAW were similar in P. inflata and P. axillaris. Nevertheless, PaMAW expression level in P. axillaris was higher during the late bud development stage as compared to PiMAW in P. inflata. This work represents an expansion of petunia developmental research to wild accessions.
Project description:Shoot organ primordia are initiated from the shoot apical meristem and develop into leaves during the vegetative stage, and into flowers during the reproductive phase. Between the meristem and the newly formed organ primordia, a boundary with specialized cells is formed that separates meristematic activity from determinate organ growth. Despite interactions that have been found between boundary regulators with genes controlling meristem maintenance or primordial development, most boundary studies were performed during embryogenesis or vegetative growth, hence little is known about whether and how boundaries communicate with meristem and organ primordia during the reproductive stage. We combined genetic, molecular and biochemical tools to explore interactions between the boundary gene HANABA TARANU (HAN) and two meristem regulators BREVIPEDICELLUS (BP) and PINHEAD (PNH), and three primordia-specific genes PETAL LOSS (PTL), JAGGED (JAG) and BLADE-ON-PETIOLE (BOP) during flower development. We demonstrated the key role of HAN in determining petal number, as part of a set of complex genetic interactions. HAN and PNH transcriptionally promote each other, and biochemically interact to regulate meristem organization. HAN physically interacts with JAG, and directly stimulates the expression of JAG and BOP2 to regulate floral organ development. Further, HAN directly binds to the promoter and intron of CYTOKININ OXIDASE 3 (CKX3) to modulate cytokinin homeostasis in the boundary. Our data suggest that boundary-expressing HAN communicates with the meristem through the PNH, regulates floral organ development via JAG and BOP2, and maintains boundary morphology through CKX3 during flower development in Arabidopsis.
Project description:Floral symmetry (corolla symmetry) has important biological significance in plant genetics and evolution. However, it is often multi-dimensional and difficult to quantify. Here, we constructed a multi-dimensional data matrix [X Y Z] by extracting three qualitative variables with binary properties (X: corolla regularity of interval and coplanarity; Y: petal regularity of shape and size; Z: petal local regularity of curling and wrinkle) from different dimensions of petals (overall to individual, and then to the local): all petals (corolla), individual petals, and local areas of petals. To quantitatively express the degree of Malus corolla symmetry, these variables were then combined with weight assignments (X: 22 > Y: 21 > Z: 20) based on their contributions to the corolla symmetry and the algorithm rule of converting binary to decimal values, which facilitated the unification of qualitative and quantitative analyses. Our results revealed significant reduction in degrees of Malus corolla symmetry along the direction of local to overall. Species showed higher degree of corolla symmetry than cultivars; however, taxa with stronger corolla symmetry might not necessarily be species. These findings provide new insights into the circumscription of Malus controversial species. The matrix model should be reference for future evaluation of angiosperm flower symmetry (lack of corolla fusion).
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.
Project description:Autophagy is one of the main mechanisms of degradation and remobilization of macromolecules, and it appears to play an important role in petal senescence. However, little is known about the regulatory mechanisms of autophagy in petal senescence. Autophagic processes were observed by electron microscopy and monodansylcadaverine staining of senescing petals of petunia (Petunia hybrida); autophagy-related gene 8 (ATG8) homologues were isolated from petunia and the regulation of expression was analysed. Nutrient remobilization was also examined during pollination-induced petal senescence. Active autophagic processes were observed in the mesophyll cells of senescing petunia petals. Pollination induced the expression of PhATG8 homologues and was accompanied by an increase in ethylene production. Ethylene inhibitor treatment in pollinated flowers delayed the induction of PhATG8 homologues, and ethylene treatment rapidly upregulated PhATG8 homologues in petunia petals. Dry weight and nitrogen content were decreased in the petals and increased in the ovaries after pollination in detached flowers. These results indicated that pollination induces autophagy and that ethylene is a key regulator of autophagy in petal senescence of petunia. The data also demonstrated the translocation of nutrients from the petals to the ovaries during pollination-induced petal senescence.
Project description:Floral scent has been extensively investigated in plants of the South American genus Petunia. Flowers of Petunia integrifolia emit mostly benzaldehyde, while flowers of Petunia axillaris subsp. axillaris emit a mixture of volatile benzenoid and phenylpropanoid compounds that include isoeugenol and eugenol. Flowers of the artificial hybrid Petunia hybrida, a cross between P. integrifolia and P. axillaris, emit a similar spectrum of volatiles as P. axillaris subsp. axillaris. However, the flowers of P. axillaris subsp. parodii emit neither isoeugenol nor eugenol but contain high levels of dihydroconiferyl acetate in the petals, the main scent-synthesizing and scent-emitting organs. We recently showed that both isoeugenol and eugenol in P. hybrida are biosynthesized from coniferyl acetate in reactions catalyzed by isoeugenol synthase (PhIGS1) and eugenol synthase (PhEGS1), respectively, via a quinone methide-like intermediate. Here we show that P. axillaris subsp. parodii has a functional EGS gene that is expressed in flowers, but its IGS gene contains a frame-shift mutation that renders it inactive. Despite the presence of active EGS enzyme in P. axillaris subsp. parodii, in the absence of IGS activity the coniferyl acetate substrate is converted by an as yet unknown enzyme to dihydroconiferyl acetate. By contrast, suppressing the expression of PhIGS1 in P. hybrida by RNA interference also leads to a decrease in isoeugenol biosynthesis, but instead of the accumulation of dihydroconiferyl acetate, the flowers synthesize higher levels of eugenol.
Project description:The plant-specific TCP transcription factors are well-characterized in both monocots and dicots, which have been implicated in multiple aspects of plant biological processes such as leaf morphogenesis and senescence, lateral branching, flower development and hormone crosstalk. However, no systematic analysis of the petunia TCP gene family has been described. In this work, a total of 66 petunia TCP genes (32 PaTCP genes in P. axillaris and 34 PiTCP genes in P. inflata) were identified. Subsequently, a systematic analysis of 32 PaTCP genes was performed. The phylogenetic analysis combined with structural analysis clearly distinguished the 32 PaTCP proteins into two classes-class ? and class ?. Class ? was further divided into two subclades, namely, the CIN-TCP subclade and the CYC/TB1 subclade. Plenty of cis-acting elements responsible for plant growth and development, phytohormone and/or stress responses were identified in the promoter of PaTCPs. Distinct spatial expression patterns were determined among PaTCP genes, suggesting that these genes may have diverse regulatory roles in plant growth development. Furthermore, differential temporal expression patterns were observed between the large- and small-flowered petunia lines for most PaTCP genes, suggesting that these genes are likely to be related to petal development and/or petal size in petunia. The spatiotemporal expression profiles and promoter analysis of PaTCPs indicated that these genes play important roles in petunia diverse developmental processes that may work via multiple hormone pathways. Moreover, three PaTCP-YFP fusion proteins were detected in nuclei through subcellular localization analysis. This is the first comprehensive analysis of the petunia TCP gene family on a genome-wide scale, which provides the basis for further functional characterization of this gene family in petunia.
Project description:Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium) is an ideal model species for studying petal morphogenesis because of the diversity in the flower form across varieties; however, the molecular mechanisms underlying petal development are poorly understood. Here, we show that the brassinosteroid transcription factor BRI1-EMS-SUPPRESSOR 1 (CmBES1) in chrysanthemum (C. morifolium cv. Jinba) is important for organ boundary formation because it represses organ boundary identity genes. Chrysanthemum plants overexpressing CmBES1 displayed increased fusion of the outermost ray florets due to the loss of differentiation of the two dorsal petals, which developed simultaneously with the ventral petals. RNA-seq analysis of the overexpression lines revealed potential genes and pathways involved in petal development, such as CUP-SHAPED COTYLEDON (CUC2), CYCLOIDEA 4 (CYC4), genes encoding MADS-box transcription factors and homeodomain-leucine zippers (HD-Zips) and auxin pathway-related genes. This study characterizes the role of CmBES1 in ray floret development by its modulation of flower development and boundary identity genes in chrysanthemum.
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:Gene expression in Petunia inflata petals undergoes major changes following compatible pollination. Severe flower wilting occurs reproducibly within 36 hours, providing an excellent model for investigation of petal senescence and programmed cell death. Expression of a number of genes and various enzyme activities involved in the degradation and remobilization of macromolecules have been found to be upregulated during the early stages of petal senescence.By performing differential display of cDNAs during Petunia inflata petal senescence, a highly upregulated gene encoding a cytochrome P450 was identified. Analysis of the complete cDNA sequence revealed that the predicted protein is a member of the CYP74C family (CYP74C9) and is highly similar to a tomato CYP74C allene oxide synthase (AOS) that is known to be active on 9-hydroperoxides. Cloning of the petunia genomic DNA revealed an intronless gene with a promoter region that carries signals found in stress-responsive genes and potential binding sites for Myb transcription factors. Transcripts were present at detectable levels in root and stem, but were 40 times more abundant in flowers 36 hours after pollination. Ethylene and jasmonate treatment resulted in transitory increases in expression in detached flowers. A protein fusion of the CYP74C coding region to a C-terminal GFP was found to be located in the tonoplast.Though oxylipins, particularly jasmonates, are known to be involved in stress responses, the role of other products of CYP74 enzymes is less well understood. The identification of a CYP74C family member as a highly upregulated gene during petal senescence suggests that additional products of fatty acid metabolism may play important roles during programmed cell death. In contrast to the chloroplast localization of AOS proteins in the CYP74A subfamily, GFP fusion data indicates that the petunia CYP74C9 enzyme is in the tonoplast. This result suggests that the highly similar CYP74C enzymes that have been identified in two other Solanaceous plants may also be associated with the vacuole, an organelle known to have a prominent role in programmed cell death.