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AGAMOUS subfamily MADS-box genes and the evolution of seed cone morphology in Cupressaceae and Taxodiaceae
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Organismal Biology, Physiological Botany.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Organismal Biology, Physiological Botany.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Organismal Biology, Physiological Botany.
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.
2011 (English)In: Evolution & Development, ISSN 1520-541X, E-ISSN 1525-142X, Vol. 13, no 2, 159-170 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this comparative developmental genetics study, we test hypotheses based on fossil and morphological data on reproductive organ morphology and evolution in conifers-specifically, the ovule-bearing organ in Cupressaceae and Taxodiaceae. Genes homologous to the Arabidopsis gene AGAMOUS are expressed in ovuliferous scales of spruces (Picea) throughout development. Previous studies have shown that the AGAMOUS subfamily of MADS-box genes predates the split between angiosperms and gymnosperms, and that these genes have in part conserved functions in reproductive development among seed plants, especially in the specification of identity of the ovule-bearing organs. These data indicate that their expression in conifer families other than Pinaceae might be used as markers for organs homologous to the Pinaceae ovuliferous scale. Here we have isolated putative AGAMOUS orthologs from Cupressaceae and Taxodiaceae and analyzed their expression pattern in seed cones to test for the presence of morphological homologs of ovuliferous scales. Our results were not congruent with the hypothesis that the tooth of the Cryptomeria seed cone is homologous to the Picea ovuliferous scale. Likewise, the hypothesis that the bracts of Thujopsis and Juniperus contain fused ovuliferous scales was not supported. However, we found expression of AGAMOUS homologs in the sterile bracts of Cupressaceae seed cones at late developmental stages. This expression probably represents a novel gene function in these conifer families, since no corresponding expression has been identified in Pinaceae. Our study suggests that the evolutionary history of modern conifer cones is more diverse than previously thought.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 13, no 2, 159-170 p.
Keyword [en]
AGAMOUS, MADS-box, Cupressaceae, Taxodiaceae, conifer, evo-devo, Cryptomeria, Juniperus, Thujopsis
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-128887DOI: 10.1111/j.1525-142X.2011.00466.xISI: 000288502600005PubMedID: 21410872OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-128887DiVA: diva2:332044
Available from: 2010-07-31 Created: 2010-07-31 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Functional Diversification among MADS-Box Genes and the Evolution of Conifer Seed Cone Development
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Functional Diversification among MADS-Box Genes and the Evolution of Conifer Seed Cone Development
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

MADS-box genes are important regulators of reproductive development in seed plants, including both flowering plants and conifers. In this thesis the evolution of the AGAMOUS subfamily of MADS-box genes, and what the ancestral function of this group of genes might have been in the early seed plants about 300 million years ago, was addressed by the discovery of two novel conifer genes, both basal to all previously known AGAMOUS subfamily genes. DAL20, the most basal of these genes, was exclusively expressed in roots, unlike all previously known AGAMOUS subfamily genes. I also studied the evolutionary mechanisms leading to functional diversification of duplicated genes in two different subfamilies of MADS-box genes; the AGAMOUS and AGL6 subfamilies. Focus was on studying changes in gene expression pattern, representing changes in the transcriptional regulation between the genes, and on comparing the functional properties of the gene products, representing changes in the protein-coding sequence between the genes. Duplicated genes in the AGL6 subfamily were found to have evolved by both mechanisms. In the AGAMOUS subfamily I found duplicated spruce genes; DAL2 and DAL20, that appear to have functionally diversified mainly by changes in the transcriptional regulation. Conifer AGAMOUS subfamily genes were also used in a comparative developmental-genetics approach to evaluate hypotheses, based on the morphology of fossil and extant conifer seed cones, on the identity of the female reproductive organ, the ovuliferous scale, and the evolution of seed cone morphology in the conifer families Pinaceae, Taxodiaceae and Cupressaceae. Seed cones in these families have been hypothesized to have homologous ovule-bearing organs, but I found substantial differences in the expression patterns of orthologous AGAMOUS subfamily genes in seed cones of these families that are not compatible with this hypothesis, indicating that the evolutionary history of conifer seed cones is more diverse than previously thought.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2010. 51 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 754
Keyword
conifer, seed cone, evo-devo, morphology, plant development, plant evolution, gene family, gene evolution, AGAMOUS, MADS-box, transcription factor, Picea, Cryptomeria, Thujopsis, Juniperus
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Biology with specialization in Physiological Botany
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-128937 (URN)978-91-554-7850-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-09-17, Lindahlsalen, Evolutionsbiologiskt centrum, Norbyvägen 18A, Uppsala, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2010-08-26 Created: 2010-08-03 Last updated: 2010-08-30

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