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Title: RNA interference suppression of AGAMOUS and SEEDSTICK alters floral organ identity and impairs floral organ determinacy, ovule differentiation, and seed‐hair development in Populus
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Publication Date:
Journal Name:
New Phytologist
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
p. 923-937
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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  1. Floral development is one of the model systems for investigating the mechanisms underlying organogenesis in plants. Floral organ identity is controlled by the well-known ABC model, which has been generalized to many flowering plants. Here, we report a previously uncharacterized MYB-like gene,AGAMOUS-LIKE FLOWER(AGLF), involved in flower development in the model legumeMedicago truncatula. Loss-of-function ofAGLFresults in flowers with stamens and carpel transformed into extra whorls of petals and sepals. Compared with the loss-of-function mutant of the class C geneAGAMOUS(MtAG) inM. truncatula, the defects in floral organ identity are similar betweenaglfandmtag, but the floral indeterminacy is enhanced in theaglfmutant. Knockout ofAGLFin the mutants of the class A geneMtAP1or the class B geneMtPIleads to an addition of a loss-of-C-function phenotype, reflecting a conventional relationship ofAGLFwith the canonical A and B genes. Furthermore, we demonstrate thatAGLFactivatesMtAGin transcriptional levels in control of floral organ identity. These data shed light on the conserved and diverged molecular mechanisms that control flower development and morphology among plant species.

  2. Floral organ size, especially the size of the corolla, plays an important role in plant reproduction by facilitating pollination efficiency. Previous studies have outlined a hypothesized organ size pathway. However, the expression and function of many of the genes in the pathway have only been investigated in model diploid species; therefore, it is unknown how these genes interact in polyploid species. Although correlations between ploidy and cell size have been shown in many systems, it is unclear whether there is a difference in cell size between naturally occurring and synthetic polyploids. To address these questions comparing floral organ size and cell size across ploidy, we use natural and synthetic polyploids of Nicotiana tabacum (Solanaceae) as well as their known diploid progenitors. We employ a comparative transcriptomics approach to perform analyses of differential gene expression, focusing on candidate genes that may be involved in floral organ size, both across developmental stages and across accessions. We see differential expression of several known floral organ candidate genes including ARF2, BIG BROTHER, and GASA/GAST1. Results from linear models show that ploidy, cell width, and cell number positively influence corolla tube circumference; however, the effect of cell width varies by ploidy, and diploids have amore »significantly steeper slope than both natural and synthetic polyploids. These results demonstrate that polyploids have wider cells and that polyploidy significantly increases corolla tube circumference.« less