Evolutionary Co-option of Floral Meristem Identity Genes for Patterning of the Flower-like Asteraceae Inflorescence

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Zhao , Y , Zhang , T , Broholm , S K , Tähtiharju , S , Mouhu , K , Albert , V A , Teeri , T H & Elomaa , P 2016 , ' Evolutionary Co-option of Floral Meristem Identity Genes for Patterning of the Flower-like Asteraceae Inflorescence ' , Plant Physiology , vol. 172 , no. 1 , pp. 284-296 . https://doi.org/10.1104/pp.16.00779

Title: Evolutionary Co-option of Floral Meristem Identity Genes for Patterning of the Flower-like Asteraceae Inflorescence
Author: Zhao, Yafei; Zhang, Teng; Broholm, Suvi K.; Tähtiharju, Sari; Mouhu, Katriina; Albert, Victor A; Teeri, Teemu H.; Elomaa, Paula
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Department of Agricultural Sciences
University of Helsinki, Department of Agricultural Sciences
University of Helsinki, Department of Agricultural Sciences
University of Helsinki, Department of Agricultural Sciences
University of Helsinki, Asteraceae developmental biology and secondary metabolism
University of Helsinki, Department of Agricultural Sciences
University of Helsinki, Department of Agricultural Sciences
Date: 2016-07-05
Language: eng
Number of pages: 13
Belongs to series: Plant Physiology
ISSN: 0032-0889
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/172742
Abstract: The evolutionary success of Asteraceae, the largest family of flowering plants, has been attributed to the unique inflorescence architecture of the family, which superficially resembles an individual flower. Here, we show that Asteraceae inflorescences (flower heads, or capitula) resemble solitary flowers not only morphologically but also at the molecular level. By conducting functional analyses for orthologs of the flower meristem identity genes LEAFY (LFY) and UNUSUAL FLORAL ORGANS (UFO) in Gerbera hybrida, we show that GhUFO is the master regulator of flower meristem identity, while GhLFY has evolved a novel, homeotic function during the evolution of head-like inflorescences. Resembling LFY expression in a single flower meristem, uniform expression of GhLFY in the inflorescence meristem defines the capitulum as a determinate structure that can assume floral fate upon ectopic GhUFO expression. We also show that GhLFY uniquely regulates the ontogeny of outer, expanded ray flowers but not inner, compact disc flowers, indicating that the distinction of different flower types in Asteraceae is connected with their independent evolutionary origins from separate branching systems.
Subject: 1183 Plant biology, microbiology, virology
Asteraceae
inflorescence development
meristem identity
evolution
Gerbera
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