Functional characterization of transcription factor LEAFY in Gerbera hybrida

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http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201507212106
Title: Functional characterization of transcription factor LEAFY in Gerbera hybrida
Author: Zhao, Yafei
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, Department of Agricultural Sciences
Publisher: Helsingfors universitet
Date: 2013
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201507212106
http://hdl.handle.net/10138/41103
Thesis level: master's thesis
Abstract: The transition from vegetative growth to flower formation is especially crucial for the reproduction of flowering plants. This transition is controlled through the regulatory activities of a group of genes named as floral meristem identity genes, of which LEAFY (LFY) is thought as the most important one. As a plant-specific transcription factor, LFY controls flower formation and floral patterning, which has been most intensively studied in the model annual plant Arabidopsis. In contrast to the plant architecture and flower morphology in Arabidopsis, Gerbera (Gerbera hybrida), belonging to the large sunflower family (Asteraceae), processes head-like inflorescences with different types of flowers distinct in floral morphs, sex and sometimes coloration. Within the last decades, a number of MADS-box and TCP transcription factor genes have been functionally characterized using stable transgenic plants. Recently, another functional assessment method using virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) has been developed in Gerbera hybrida. In this study, the expression pattern of GhLFY was analyzed in wild-type Gerbera and TRV-based GhLFY silencing was conducted in two Gerbera cultivars – Terra Regina and Grizzly. It could be concluded that the activity of GhLFY is involved in regulating flower development. In VIGS:GhLFY lines, leaf-like organs emerged in disc flowers and the identity of stamen and carpel was interrupted. However, further VIGS trials are needed verify the observed phenotypes. At the same time, two potential lfy mutants – Pingpong and Marimbo were analyzed in both phenotype and genotype. These cultivars show phenotypic alteration in inflorescence development and floral organ structures that were distinct from WT Gerbera. Although the expression level of GhLFY did not change among these cultivars, but the GhLFY sequences contained amino acids mutation sites and four missing proline amino acids in Marimbo were detected. The role of these mutation sites need to be further analyzed in later experimental steps.
Subject: Gerbera hybrida
LEAFY gene
flower development
ABCE model
VIGS
Discipline: Växtproduktionsvetenskap (växtförädling)
Plant Production Science (Plant Breeding)
Kasvintuotantotieteet (kasvinjalostus)


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