Identification of a gene encoding polygalacturonase expressed specifically in short styles in distylous common buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum).
ABSTRACT: Common buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) is a heteromorphic self-incompatible (SI) species with two types of floral architecture: thrum (short style) and pin (long style). The floral morphology and intra-morph incompatibility are controlled by a single genetic locus, S. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the heteromorphic self-incompatibility of common buckwheat remain unclear. To identify these mechanisms, we performed proteomic, quantitative reverse-transcription PCR, and linkage analyses. Comparison of protein profiles between the long and short styles revealed a protein unique to the short style. Amino-acid sequencing revealed that it was a truncated form of polygalacturonase (PG); we designated the gene encoding this protein FePG1. Phylogenetic analysis classified FePG1 into the same clade as PGs that function in pollen development and floral morphology. FePG1 expression was significantly higher in short styles than in long styles. It was expressed in flowers of a short-homostyle line but not in flowers of a long-homostyle line. Linkage analysis indicated that FePG1 was not linked to the S locus; it could be a factor downstream of this locus. Our finding of a gene putatively working under the regulation of the S locus provides useful information for elucidation of the mechanism of heteromorphic self-incompatibility.
Project description:The different forms of flowers in a species have attracted the attention of many evolutionary biologists, including Charles Darwin. In Fagopyrum esculentum (common buckwheat), the occurrence of dimorphic flowers, namely short-styled and long-styled flowers, is associated with a type of self-incompatibility (SI) called heteromorphic SI. The floral morphology and intra-morph incompatibility are both determined by a single genetic locus named the S-locus. Plants with short-styled flowers are heterozygous (S/s) and plants with long-styled flowers are homozygous recessive (s/s) at the S-locus. Despite recent progress in our understanding of the molecular basis of flower development and plant SI systems, the molecular mechanisms underlying heteromorphic SI remain unresolved. By examining differentially expressed genes from the styles of the two floral morphs, we identified a gene that is expressed only in short-styled plants. The novel gene identified was completely linked to the S-locus in a linkage analysis of 1,373 plants and had homology to EARLY FLOWERING 3. We named this gene S-LOCUS EARLY FLOWERING 3 (S-ELF3). In an ion-beam-induced mutant that harbored a deletion in the genomic region spanning S-ELF3, a phenotype shift from short-styled flowers to long-styled flowers was observed. Furthermore, S-ELF3 was present in the genome of short-styled plants and absent from that of long-styled plants both in world-wide landraces of buckwheat and in two distantly related Fagopyrum species that exhibit heteromorphic SI. Moreover, independent disruptions of S-ELF3 were detected in a recently emerged self-compatible Fagopyrum species and a self-compatible line of buckwheat. The nonessential role of S-ELF3 in the survival of individuals and the prolonged evolutionary presence only in the genomes of short-styled plants exhibiting heteromorphic SI suggests that S-ELF3 is a suitable candidate gene for the control of the short-styled phenotype of buckwheat plants.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum Moench.) is an annual crop that originated in southern China. The nutritious seeds are used in cooking much like cereal grains. Buckwheat is an outcrossing species with heteromorphic self-incompatibility due to its dimorphic (i.e., short- and long-styled) flowers and intra-morph infertility. The floral morphology and intra-morph incompatibility are both determined by a single S locus. Plants with short-styled flowers are heterozygous (S/s) and plants with long-styled flowers are homozygous recessive (s/s) at this locus, and the S/S genotype is not found. Recently, we built a draft genome assembly of buckwheat and identified the 5.4-Mb-long S-allele region harbored by short-styled plants. In this study, the first report on the genome-wide diversity of buckwheat, we used a genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) dataset to evaluate the genome-wide nucleotide diversity within cultivated buckwheat landraces worldwide. We also investigated the utility of the S-allele region for phylogenetic analysis of buckwheat. RESULTS:Buckwheat showed high nucleotide diversity (0.0065), comparable to that of other outcrossing plants, based on a genome-wide simple nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis. Phylogenetic analyses based on genome-wide SNPs showed that cultivated buckwheat comprises two groups, Asian and European, and revealed lower nucleotide diversity in the European group (0.0055) and low differentiation between the Asian and European groups. The nucleotide diversity (0.0039) estimated from SNPs in the S-allele region is lower than that in genome-wide SNPs. Phylogenetic analysis based on this region detected three diverged groups, S-1, S-2, and S-3. CONCLUSION:The SNPs detected using the GBS dataset were effective for elucidating the evolutionary history of buckwheat, and led to the following conclusions: (1) the low nucleotide diversity of the entire genome in the European group and low differentiation between the Asian and European groups suggested genetic bottlenecks associated with dispersion from Asia to Europe, and/or recent intensified cultivation and selection in Europe; and (2) the high diversification in the S-allele region was indicative of gene flows from wild to cultivated buckwheat, suggesting that cultivated buckwheat may have multiple origins.
Project description:Heterostyly is a wide-spread floral adaptation to promote outbreeding, yet its genetic basis and evolutionary origin remain poorly understood. In Primula (primroses), heterostyly is controlled by the S-locus supergene that determines the reciprocal arrangement of reproductive organs and incompatibility between the two morphs. However, the identities of the component genes remain unknown. Here, we identify the Primula CYP734A50 gene, encoding a putative brassinosteroid-degrading enzyme, as the G locus that determines the style-length dimorphism. CYP734A50 is only present on the short-styled S-morph haplotype, it is specifically expressed in S-morph styles, and its loss or inactivation leads to long styles. The gene arose by a duplication specific to the Primulaceae lineage and shows an accelerated rate of molecular evolution. Thus, our results provide a mechanistic explanation for the Primula style-length dimorphism and begin to shed light on the evolution of the S-locus as a prime model for a complex plant supergene.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Heterostyly and related style polymorphisms are suitable model systems to evaluate the importance of functional pollinators in the maintenance of population variability. In Narcissus papyraceus different functional pollinators, incompatibility system and flower morphology have been proposed to influence the maintenance of polymorphism through their effect on disassortative mating. Here a test is done to find out if the visitation rate of long- versus short-tongued pollinators correlates with the morph ratio and if the latter is related to other flower traits of the species across its main geographic range. METHODS: Floral traits from 34 populations in the south-west of the Iberian Peninsula and in north-west Africa were measured, perianth variation was described and a comparison was made of allometric relationships between sex organs and floral tube. Correlations between pollinator guilds, stigma-anther separation of reciprocal morphs (our proxy for disassortative mating) and morph-ratio variation were analysed. Finally, the incompatibility system of the species in the northern and southern borders of its distribution are described. KEY RESULTS: Flowers from southern populations were significantly larger than flowers from centre and northern populations. The abundance of short-styled plants decreased gradually with increasing distance from the core region (the Strait of Gibraltar), with these disappearing only in the northern range. Although there was a significant difference in stigma-anther separation among populations, morph ratio was not associated with reciprocity or floral tube length. Long-style morph frequency increased with short-tongued pollinator visitation rate. Populations from both edges of the distribution range were self-incompatible and within- and between-morph compatible. CONCLUSIONS: The style morph ratio changed gradually, whereas perianth trait variation showed abrupt changes with two morphotypes across the range. The positive relationship between the visitation rate of short-tongued pollinators and the decrease of the short-style morph supports our initial hypothesis. The results highlight the importance of different pollinators in determining the presence of style polymorphism.
Project description:Heterostyly represents a fascinating adaptation to promote outbreeding in plants that evolved multiple times independently. While l-morph individuals form flowers with long styles, short anthers, and small pollen grains, S-morph individuals have flowers with short styles, long anthers, and large pollen grains. The difference between the morphs is controlled by an <i>S</i>-locus "supergene" consisting of several distinct genes that determine different traits of the syndrome and are held together, because recombination between them is suppressed. In <i>Primula</i>, the <i>S</i> locus is a roughly 300-kb hemizygous region containing five predicted genes. However, with one exception, their roles remain unclear, as does the evolutionary buildup of the <i>S</i> locus. Here we demonstrate that the MADS-box <i>GLOBOSA2</i> (<i>GLO2</i>) gene at the <i>S</i> locus determines anther position. In <i>Primula forbesii</i> S-morph plants, <i>GLO2</i> promotes growth by cell expansion in the fused tube of petals and stamen filaments beneath the anther insertion point; by contrast, neither pollen size nor male incompatibility is affected by <i>GLO2</i> activity. The paralogue <i>GLO1</i>, from which <i>GLO2</i> arose by duplication, has maintained the ancestral B-class function in specifying petal and stamen identity, indicating that <i>GLO2</i> underwent neofunctionalization, likely at the level of the encoded protein. Genetic mapping and phylogenetic analysis indicate that the duplications giving rise to the style-length-determining gene <i>CYP734A50</i> and to <i>GLO2</i> occurred sequentially, with the <i>CYP734A50</i> duplication likely the first. Together these results provide the most detailed insight into the assembly of a plant supergene yet and have important implications for the evolution of heterostyly.
Project description:Heteromorphic self-incompatibility can prevent self- and intramorph fertilization while favouring intermorph mating and the maintenance of morph-ratio stability in heterostylous populations. However, variation in the expression of self-incompatibility intraspecies has seldom been assessed. Through hand pollinations and microsatellite markers, the variation in the expression of self-incompatibility and genetic diversity were studied in distylous plant Primula merrilliana. We discovered that the strength of self-incompatibility varied extensively among individuals and populations, from pronounced to weaker self-incompatibility in distylous populations, all the way to strong self-compatibility in homostylous populations. Each distylous population included self-incompatible (SI), partly self-compatible (PSC) and self-compatible (SC) individuals, with the index of self-compatibility (ISC) ranging from 0.07 to 0.68 across populations. Self-compatible populations (ISC > 0.25) were not genetically clustered but were more closely related to populations with high SI and SC individuals were mixed with SI individuals within populations. The ISC and the proportions of SC and PSC individuals were higher in peripheral than in central populations, but no decrease of genetic diversity and no deviations of floral morph ratio from isoplethy were detected in peripheral populations. Additionally, the expression of self-incompatibility was stronger in long-styled flowers than in short-styled flowers. The variation in the strength of self-incompatibility documented in P. merrilliana cautions against the estimation of ISC from a few individuals or populations in distylous species and provides a more complex and nuanced understanding of the role of self-incompatibility in heterostyly.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND AIMS: In sub-alpine habitats, patchiness in snowpack produces marked, small-scale variation in flowering phenology. Plants in early- and late-melting patches are therefore likely to experience very different conditions during their flowering periods. Mertensia fusiformis is an early-flowering perennial that varies conspicuously in style length within and among populations. The hypothesis that style length represents an adaptation to local flowering time was tested. Specifically, it was hypothesized that lower air temperatures and higher frost risk would favour short-styled plants (with stigmas more shielded by corollas) in early-flowering patches, but that the pollen-collecting behaviour of flower visitors in late-flowering patches would favour long-styled plants. METHODS: Floral morphology was measured, temperatures were monitored and pollinators were observed in several matched pairs of early and late populations. To evaluate effects of cold temperatures on plants of different style lengths, experimental pollinations were conducted during mornings (warm) and evenings (cool), and on flowers that either had or had not experienced a prior frost. The effectiveness of different pollinators was quantified as seed set following single visits to plants with relatively short or long styles. KEY RESULTS: Late-flowering populations experienced warmer temperatures than early-flowering populations and a different suite of pollinators. Nectar-foraging bumble-bee queens and male solitary bees predominated in early populations, whereas pollen-collecting female solitary bees were more numerous in later sites. Pollinators differed significantly in their abilities to transfer pollen to stigmas at different heights, in accordance with our prediction. However, temperature and frost sensitivity did not differ between long- and short-styled plants. Although plants in late-flowering patches tended to have longer styles than those in early patches, this difference was not consistent. CONCLUSIONS: Seasonal change in pollinator-mediated selection on style length may help maintain variation in this trait in M. fusiformis, but adaptation to local flowering time is not apparent. The prevalence of short styles in these populations requires further explanation.
Project description:Most flowers display distinct colour patterns comprising two different areas. The peripheral large-area component of floral colour patterns attracts flower visitors from some distance and the central small-area component guides flower visitors towards landing sites. Whereas the peripheral colour is largely variable among species, the central colour, produced mostly by anthers and pollen or pollen mimicking floral guides, is predominantly yellow and UV-absorbing. This holds also for yellow flowers that regularly display a UV bull's eye pattern. Here we show that yellow-flowering Crocus species are a noticeable exception, since yellow-flowering Crocus species-being entirely UV-absorbing-exhibit low colour contrast between yellow reproductive organs and yellow tepals. The elongated yellow or orange-yellow style of Crocus flowers is a stamen-mimicking structure promoting cross-pollination by facilitating flower visitors' contact with the apical stigma before the flower visitors are touching the anthers. Since Crocus species possess either yellow, violet or white tepals, the colour contrast between the stamen-mimicking style and the tepals varies among species. In this study comprising 106 Crocus species, it was tested whether the style length of Crocus flowers is dependent on the corolla colour. The results show that members of the genus Crocus with yellow tepals have evolved independently up to twelve times in the genus Crocus and that yellow-flowering Crocus species possess shorter styles as compared to violet- and white-flowering ones. The manipulation of flower visitors by anther-mimicking elongated styles in Crocus flowers is discussed.
Project description:Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum Moench; 2n = 2x = 16) is a nutritionally dense annual crop widely grown in temperate zones. To accelerate molecular breeding programmes of this important crop, we generated a draft assembly of the buckwheat genome using short reads obtained by next-generation sequencing (NGS), and constructed the Buckwheat Genome DataBase. After assembling short reads, we determined 387,594 scaffolds as the draft genome sequence (FES_r1.0). The total length of FES_r1.0 was 1,177,687,305 bp, and the N50 of the scaffolds was 25,109 bp. Gene prediction analysis revealed 286,768 coding sequences (CDSs; FES_r1.0_cds) including those related to transposable elements. The total length of FES_r1.0_cds was 212,917,911 bp, and the N50 was 1,101 bp. Of these, the functions of 35,816 CDSs excluding those for transposable elements were annotated by BLAST analysis. To demonstrate the utility of the database, we conducted several test analyses using BLAST and keyword searches. Furthermore, we used the draft genome as a reference sequence for NGS-based markers, and successfully identified novel candidate genes controlling heteromorphic self-incompatibility of buckwheat. The database and draft genome sequence provide a valuable resource that can be used in efforts to develop buckwheat cultivars with superior agronomic traits.
Project description:Heterostyly employs distinct hermaphroditic floral morphs to enforce outbreeding. Morphs differ structurally in stigma/anther positioning, promoting cross-pollination, and physiologically blocking self-fertilization. Heterostyly is controlled by a self-incompatibility (S)-locus of a small number of linked S-genes specific to short-styled morph genomes. Turnera possesses three S-genes, namely TsBAHD (controlling pistil characters), TsYUC6, and TsSPH1 (controlling stamen characters). Here, we compare pistil and stamen transcriptomes of floral morphs of T. subulata to investigate hypothesized S-gene function(s) and whether hormonal differences might contribute to physiological incompatibility. We then use network analyses to identify genetic networks underpinning heterostyly. We found a depletion of brassinosteroid-regulated genes in short styled (S)-morph pistils, consistent with hypothesized brassinosteroid-inactivating activity of TsBAHD. In S-morph anthers, auxin-regulated genes were enriched, consistent with hypothesized auxin biosynthesis activity of TsYUC6. Evidence was found for auxin elevation and brassinosteroid reduction in both pistils and stamens of S- relative to long styled (L)-morph flowers, consistent with reciprocal hormonal differences contributing to physiological incompatibility. Additional hormone pathways were also affected, however, suggesting S-gene activities intersect with a signaling hub. Interestingly, distinct S-genes controlling pistil length, from three species with independently evolved heterostyly, potentially intersect with phytochrome interacting factor (PIF) network hubs which mediate red/far-red light signaling. We propose that modification of the activities of PIF hubs by the S-locus could be a common theme in the evolution of heterostyly.