Материал из Антэкология /// Anthecology
Alternate transcripts of a floral developmental regulator have both distinct and redundant functions in opium poppy
Background and AimsThe MADS-box transcription factor AGAMOUS (AG) is an important regulator of stamen and fruit identity as well as floral meristem determinacy in a number of core eudicots and monocots. However, its role outside of these groups has not been assessed explicitly. Examining its role in opium poppy, a basal eudicot, could uncover much about the evolution and development of flower and fruit development in the angiosperms.MethodsAG orthologues were isolated by degenerate RT-PCR and the gene sequence and structure examined; gene expression was characterized using in situ hybridization and the function assessed using virus-induced gene silencing.Key ResultsIn opium poppy, a basal eudicot, the AGAMOUS orthologue is alternatively spliced to produce encoded products that vary at the C-terminus, termed PapsAG-1 and PapsAG-2. Both transcripts are expressed at high levels in stamens and carpels. The functional implications of this alternative transcription were examined using virus-induced gene silencing and the results show that PapsAG-1 has roles in stamen and carpel identity, reflecting those found for ArabidopsisAG. In contrast, PapsAG-2, while displaying redundancy in these functions, has a distinctive role in aspects of carpel development reflected in septae, ovule and stigma defects seen in the loss-of-function line generated.ConclusionsThese results describe the first explicit functional analysis of an AG-clade gene in a basal eudicot; illustrate one of the few examples of the functional consequences of alternative splicing in transcription factors and reveal the importance of alternative transcription, as well as gene duplication, as a driving force in evolution.