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Abstract Detail

Evolutionary Developmental Biology (Evo-Devo)

Wu, Cheng-Chiang [1], Li, Fay-Wei [2], Kramer, Elena [1].

Evolution of the WUSCHEL-RELATED (WOX) homeobox transcription factors in plants.

Meristems provide the building blocks for all plant organs. The WUSCHEL-RELATED (WOX) gene family encodes homeobox-containing transcription factors that regulate maintenance of the stem-cell niche in meristems as well as several other developmental processes in plants. The expansion and diversification of the WOX gene family has been postulated to have contributed to the morphological complexity of land plants. Previous phylogenetic studies classified the WOX genes into three superclades, the ancient, intermediate and modern clades. However, the relationship among WOX clades remains unclear due to excessive sequence divergence outside the short and highly conserved homeodomain, and limited sampling across plant lineages. In order to decipher the origin and evolution of the WOX family, we curated WOX protein sequences from 387 genomes and transcriptomes spanning all plant divisions and Rhodophyta for phylogenetic reconstruction. The WOX phylogeny inferred from 1019 WOX proteins of 254 species implies that the WOX protein family is likely to have originated in Plantae and diverged into three ancient superclades. Analyses of synteny, protein motif, and promoter sequence, also reveal lineage-specific gene duplications, protein diversification, and deep conservation of the WOX-involved gene regulatory networks (GRNs). This study provides the phylogenetic context for functional studies of the GRNs that orchestrate morphological complexity in land plants.

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1 - Harvard University, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, 16 Divinity Avenue, Biological Laboratories 1119, Cambridge, MA, 02138, USA
2 - Cornell University, Boyce Thompson Institute, Ithaca, NY, 14853, USA

gene duplication

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 20, Evolutionary Developmental Biology (Evo-Devo) I
Location: 113/Mayo Civic Center
Date: Tuesday, July 24th, 2018
Time: 10:45 AM
Number: 20011
Abstract ID:580
Candidate for Awards:None

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