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Abstract Detail

Recent Topics Posters

Sharma, Bharti [1].

Functional characterization of LEAFY and UNUSUAL FLORAL ORGANS homologs in Aquilegia coerulea.

The transition to flowering involves complex interactions between the genetic programs controlling inflorescence and floral meristem identity, which result in a wide variety of inflorescence structures. From previous studies in model systems including Arabidopsis, tomato, and petunia, it has been shown that LEAFY and its co-factor UFO are involved in establishing floral meristem identity (FMI) and subsequently activating the floral organ identity genes, including most of the players in the ABC model. We have used the lower eudicot model Aquilegia to investigate the conservation of LFY and UFO homolog function in both of these developmental contexts. In Aquilegia there are two UFO paralogs, AqUFO1 and AqUFO2, and a single copy of AqLFY. The expression of these genes is consistent with the patterns observed in core eudicots.  AqUFO1 is tightly restricted to the base of the initiating petals and outer whorls of stamens. AqUFO2, in contrast, is primarily expressed in the distal tips of the stamens. A previous study has reported AqLFY expression throughout early floral meristem development then declining rapidly in developing primordia. Using the transient RNAi method virus induced gene silencing, we down-regulated AqLFY, as well as AqUFO1 and AqUFO2 individually and in combination. The phenotypes obtained from AqLFY-silencing indicate a less essential role in floral meristem identity. Interestingly, the AqUFO1-and AqUFO2-silenced phenotypes were more severe than that of AqLFY. In addition to weak floral meristem identity defects, we observed a complete loss of petal identity. Phenotypic data from the AqLFY and AqUFO1 and AqUFO2 knock-downs suggest a hypothesis that Aquilegia UFO homologs play a specific role in activating a petal-specific paralog of the B class gene APETALA3 in a LFY-independent manner. We will discuss these functions and their implications for the evolution of the floral meristem identity network in Aquilegia.

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1 - California State Polytechnic University Pomona, Biological Sciences, 3801 West Temple Ave , Pomona, CA, 91768

none specified

Presentation Type: Recent Topics Poster
Session: P, Recent Topics Posters
Location: Grand Ballroom - Exhibit Hall/Mayo Civic Center
Date: Monday, July 23rd, 2018
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PRT013
Abstract ID:1297
Candidate for Awards:None

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