Expression Pattern and Functional Characterization of PISTILLATA Ortholog Associated With the Formation of Petaloid Sepals in Double-Flower Eriobotrya japonica (Rosaceae).
ABSTRACT: 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:The involvement of PISTILLATA (PI) and APETALA (AP) transcription factors in the development of floral organs has previously been elucidated but little is known about their upstream regulation. In this investigation, two novel mutants generated in Papaver somniferum were analyzed--one with partially petaloid sepals and another having sepaloid petals. Progeny from reciprocal crosses of respective mutant parent genotypes showed a good fit to the monogenic Mendelian inheritance model, indicating that the mutant traits are likely controlled by the single, recessive nuclear genes named "Pps-1" and "OM" in the partially petaloid sepal and sepaloid petal phenotypes, respectively. Both paralogs of PISTILLATA (PapsPI-1 and PapsPI-3) were obtained from the sepals and petals of P. somniferum. Ectopic expression of PapsPI-1 in tobacco resulted in a partially petaloid sepal phenotype at a low frequency. Upregulation of PapsPI-1 and PapsAP3-1 in the petal and the petal part of partially petaloid sepal mutant and down-regulation of the same in sepaloid petal mutant indicates a differential pattern of regulation for flowering-related genes in various whorls. Similarly, it was found that the recessive mutation OM in sepaloid petal mutant downregulates PapsPI-1 and PapsAP3-1 transcripts. The recessive nature of the mutations was confirmed by the segregation ratios obtained in this analysis.
Project description:Homeotic class B genes GLOBOSA (GLO)/PISTILLATA (PI) and DEFICIENS (DEF)/APETALA3 (AP3) are involved in the development of petals and stamens in Arabidopsis. However, functions of these genes in the development of floral organs in torenia are less well known. Here, we demonstrate the unique floral phenotypes of transgenic torenia formed due to the modification of class B genes, TfGLO and TfDEF. TfGLO-overexpressing plants showed purple-stained sepals that accumulated anthocyanins in a manner similar to that of petals. TfGLO-suppressed plants showed serrated petals and TfDEF-suppressed plants showed partially decolorized petals. In TfGLO-overexpressing plants, cell shapes on the surfaces of sepals were altered to petal-like cell shapes. Furthermore, TfGLO- and TfDEF-suppressed plants partially had sepal-like cells on the surfaces of their petals. We isolated putative class B gene-regulated genes and examined their expression in transgenic plants. Three xyloglucan endo-1,4-beta-D: -glucanase genes were up-regulated in TfGLO- and TfDEF-overexpressing plants and down-regulated in TfGLO- and TfDEF-suppressed plants. In addition, 10 anthocyanin biosynthesis-related genes, including anthocyanin synthase and chalcone isomerase, were up-regulated in TfGLO-overexpressing plants and down-regulated in TfGLO-suppressed plants. The expression patterns of these 10 genes in TfDEF transgenic plants were diverse and classified into several groups. HPLC analysis indicated that sepals of TfGLO-overexpressing plants accumulate the same type of anthocyanins and flavones as wild-type plants. The difference in phenotypes and expression patterns of the 10 anthocyanin biosynthesis-related genes between TfGLO and TfDEF transgenic plants indicated that TfGLO and TfDEF have partial functional divergence, while they basically work synergistically in torenia.
Project description:UNLABELLED: BACKGROUND:The Hawaiian endemic genus Clermontia (Campanulaceae) includes 22 species, 15 of which, the double-corolla species, are characterized by an extra whorl of organs that appear to be true petals occupying what is normally the sepal whorl. Previous research has shown that the presence of homeotic petaloid organs in some other plant groups correlates with ectopic expression of B-function MADS box genes, but similar core eudicot examples of apparent groundplan divergence remain unstudied. B-function genes, which are not normally expressed in the sepal whorl, are required for determination and maintenance of petal identity. Here, we investigate the potential role of altered B-function gene expression contributing to the morphological diversity of this island genus. RESULTS:We examined the morphology and developmental genetics of two different species of Clermontia, one of which, C. arborescens, has normal sepals while the other, C. parviflora, has two whorls of petal-like organs. Scanning electron microscopy of cell surface morphologies of first and second whorl organs in the double-corolla species C. parviflora revealed conical epidermal cells on the adaxial surfaces of both first and second whorl petaloid organs, strongly suggesting a homeotic conversion in the former. Phylogenetic analysis of Clermontia species based on 5S ribosomal DNA non-transcribed spacer sequences indicated a probable single and geologically recent origin of the double-corolla trait within the genus, with numerous potential reversals to the standard sepal-petal format. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis of homologs of the B-function genes PISTILLATA (PI), APETALA3 and TOMATO MADS 6 indicated ectopic expression of two PI paralogs in the first whorl of C. parviflora; no such homeotic expression was observed for the other two genes, nor for several other MADS box genes involved in various floral and non-floral functions. In the standard sepal-petal species C. arborescens, ectopic expression of PI homologs was not observed. In C. parviflora, the upregulation of PI homologs was precisely restricted to the perianth and stamen whorls, excluding a simple overexpression phenotype. In situ hybridization analysis of C. parviflora material similarly showed first and second whorl PI homolog expression in developing flower buds. CONCLUSIONS:Our morphological and gene expression data strongly suggest that a drastic and heritable phenotypic change, at the level of floral groundplan, can originate from a homeotic mutation that is likely regulatory, being under precise spatiotemporal control as opposed to having pleiotropic characteristics. The uniqueness of this trait among core eudicots could be linked to increased ecological viability in an unstable island environment, a chance event which need not have posed any immediate adaptive benefit. We argue that the evolutionarily young morphological radiation of Clermontia may form a model system for general understanding of mechanisms of larger-scale angiosperm diversification in past, similarly unstable environments, in which small regulatory changes may have been responsible for modern-day groundplan differences. TRIAL REGISTRATION:Clinical Trials.gov- NCT01710735 SIGNIFICANCE AND INNOVATIONS: The present investigation is one of the first to examine the hypothesis of gross muscle contractile inhibition due to the presence of diagnostically relevant MFTrPs. Individuals suffering from clinically relevant levels of self-reported pain are able to tolerate maximum voluntary contraction testing, but delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is a likely side-effect irrespective of symptom status. As a consequence, its confounding effect during subsequent testing must be taken into account.
Project description:In angiosperms, after the floral transition, the inflorescence meristem produces floral meristems (FMs). Determinate growth of FMs produces flowers of a particular size and form. This determinate growth requires specification of floral organs and termination of stem-cell divisions. Establishment of the FM and specification of outer whorl organs (sepals and petals) requires the floral homeotic gene APETALA1 (AP1). To determine FM identity, AP1 also prevents the formation of flowers in the axils of sepals. The mechanisms underlying AP1 function in the floral transition and in floral organ patterning have been studied extensively, but how AP1 terminates sepal axil stem-cell activities to suppress axillary secondary flower formation remains unclear. Here we show that AP1 regulates cytokinin levels by directly suppressing the cytokinin biosynthetic gene LONELY GUY1 and activating the cytokinin degradation gene CYTOKININ OXIDASE/DEHYDROGENASE3. Restoring the expression of these genes to wild-type levels in AP1-expressing cells or suppressing cytokinin signaling inhibits indeterminate inflorescence meristem activity caused by ap1 mutation. We conclude that suppression of cytokinin biosynthesis and activation of cytokinin degradation mediates AP1 function in establishing determinate FM. A deeper understanding of axil-lateral meristem activity provides crucial information for enhancing yield by engineering crops that produce more elaborated racemes.
Project description:Floral patterning and morphogenesis are controlled by many transcription factors including floral homeotic proteins, by which floral organ identity is determined. Recent studies have uncovered widespread regulation of transcription factors by microRNAs (miRNAs), approximately 21-nucleotide non-coding RNAs that regulate protein-coding RNAs through transcript cleavage and/or translational inhibition. The regulation of the floral homeotic gene APETALA2 (AP2) by miR172 is crucial for normal Arabidopsis flower development and is likely to be conserved across plant species. Here we probe the activity of the AP2/miR172 regulatory circuit in a heterologous Solanaceae species, Nicotiana benthamiana. We generated transgenic N. benthamiana lines expressing Arabidopsis wild type AP2 (35S::AP2), miR172-resistant AP2 mutant (35S::AP2m3) and MIR172a-1 (35S::MIR172) under the control of the cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter. 35S::AP2m3 plants accumulated high levels of AP2 mRNA and protein and exhibited floral patterning defects that included proliferation of numerous petals, stamens and carpels indicating loss of floral determinacy. On the other hand, nearly all 35S::AP2 plants accumulated barely detectable levels of AP2 mRNA or protein and were essentially non-phenotypic. Overall, the data indicated that expression of the wild type Arabidopsis AP2 transgene was repressed at the mRNA level by an endogenous N. benthamiana miR172 homologue that could be detected using Arabidopsis miR172 probe. Interestingly, 35S::MIR172 plants had sepal-to-petal transformations and/or more sepals and petals, suggesting interference with N. benthamiana normal floral homeotic gene function in perianth organs. Our studies uncover the potential utility of the Arabidopsis AP2/miR172 system as a tool for manipulation of floral architecture and flowering time in non-model plants.
Project description:Fruit shape represents a key trait that consumers use to identify and select preferred cultivars, and although the manipulation of this trait is an opportunity to create novel, differentiated products, the molecular mechanisms regulating fruit shape are poorly understood in tree fruits. In this study, we have shown that ectopic expression of Malus domestica PISTILLATA (MdPI), the apple ortholog of the floral organ identity gene PISTILLATA (PI), regulates apple fruit tissue growth and shape. MdPI is a single-copy gene, and its expression is high during flower development but barely detectable soon after pollination. Transgenic apple plants with ectopic expression of MdPI produced flowers with white sepals and a conversion of sepals to petals. Interestingly, these plants produced distinctly flattened fruit as a consequence of reduced cell growth at the basipetal position of the fruit. These altered sepal and fruit phenotypes have not been observed in studies using Arabidopsis. This study using apple has advanced our understanding of PI functions outside the control of petal and stamen identity and provided molecular genetic information useful for manipulating fruit tissue growth and fruit shape.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The genus Aquilegia is an emerging model system in plant evolutionary biology predominantly because of its wide variation in floral traits and associated floral ecology. The anatomy of the Aquilegia flower is also very distinct. There are two whorls of petaloid organs, the outer whorl of sepals and the second whorl of petals that form nectar spurs, as well as a recently evolved fifth whorl of staminodia inserted between stamens and carpels. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We designed an oligonucleotide microarray based on EST sequences from a mixed tissue, normalized cDNA library of an A. formosa x A. pubescens F2 population representing 17,246 unigenes. We then used this array to analyze floral gene expression in late pre-anthesis stage floral organs from a natural A. formosa population. In particular, we tested for gene expression patterns specific to each floral whorl and to combinations of whorls that correspond to traditional and modified ABC model groupings. Similar analyses were performed on gene expression data of Arabidopsis thaliana whorls previously obtained using the Ath1 gene chips (data available through The Arabidopsis Information Resource). CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our comparative gene expression analyses suggest that 1) petaloid sepals and petals of A. formosa share gene expression patterns more than either have organ-specific patterns, 2) petals of A. formosa and A. thaliana may be independently derived, 3) staminodia express B and C genes similar to stamens but the staminodium genetic program has also converged on aspects of the carpel program and 4) staminodia have unique up-regulation of regulatory genes and genes that have been implicated with defense against microbial infection and herbivory. Our study also highlights the value of comparative gene expression profiling and the Aquilegia microarray in particular for the study of floral evolution and ecology.
Project description:DEF-like and GLO-like class B floral homeotic genes encode closely related MADS-domain transcription factors that act as developmental switches involved in specifying the identity of petals and stamens during flower development. Class B gene function requires transcriptional upregulation by an autoregulatory loop that depends on obligate heterodimerization of DEF-like and GLO-like proteins. Because switch-like behavior of gene expression can be displayed by single genes already, the functional relevance of this complex circuitry has remained enigmatic. On the basis of a stochastic in silico model of class B gene and protein interactions, we suggest that obligate heterodimerization of class B floral homeotic proteins is not simply the result of neutral drift but enhanced the robustness of cell-fate organ identity decisions in the presence of stochastic noise. This finding strongly corroborates the view that the appearance of this regulatory mechanism during angiosperm phylogeny led to a canalization of flower development and evolution.
Project description:Hose in Hose mutants of primrose and cowslip have been cultivated since the early 17th century and show dominant homeotic conversion of sepals to petals. The phenotype shows variable penetrance and expressivity and is linked to the S locus, which controls floral heteromorphy in Primula species. Here we demonstrate that the homeotic conversion of sepals to petals in Hose in Hose is associated with up-regulation of both Primula B-function MADS box genes PvDef and PvGlo in the first floral whorl. We have defined a restriction fragment length polymorphism associated with PvGlo that cosegregates with the Hose in Hose phenotype and have also identified and characterized a retrotransposon insertion in the PvGlo promoter which is associated with the up-regulated expression of PvGlo. Excision of this retrotransposon, associated with epigenetic changes at the locus, causes reversion toward normal calyces and restores wild-type flower development. These data define the molecular basis of the Hose in Hose mutation and provide an explanation for its long-documented phenotypic instability.
Project description:The model Aquilegia coerulea x "Origami" possesses several interesting floral features, including petaloid sepals that are morphologically distinct from the true petals and a broad domain containing many whorls of stamens. We undertook the current study in an effort to understand the former trait, but additionally uncovered data that inform on the latter. The Aquilegia B gene homolog AqPI is shown to contribute to the production of anthocyanin in the first whorl sepals, although it has no major role in their morphology. Surprisingly, knockdown of AqPI in Aquilegia coerulea x "Origami" also reveals a role for the B class genes in maintaining the expression of the C gene homolog AqAG1 in the outer whorls of stamens. These findings suggest that the transference of pollinator function to the first whorl sepals included a non-homeotic recruitment of the B class genes to promote aspects of petaloidy. They also confirm results in several other Ranunculales that have revealed an unexpected regulatory connection between the B and C class genes.