Evolutionary Developmental Biology (Evo-Devo)
Pabon-Mora, Natalia , Meyer, Rachel , Litt, Amy .
The role of a FRUITFULL ortholog in the development of berries (tomato) and capsules (flowering tobacco) in Solanaceae.
Solanaceae providesan excellent system for studies of the evolution of morphology and underlying developmental genetic mechanisms; among other features, the family includes extensive morphological variation and is amenable to genetic manipulation. As part of an ongoing study aimed at identifying the genes that distinguish between dry dehiscent and fleshy fruits in Solanaceae, we have begun functional studies of candidate genes. Our previous studies had identified four common stages in the development of both fruits, based on previously described stages in tomato development: (1) ovary development; (2) cell division triggered by fertilization; (3) cessation of cell division; (4) maturation. Based on microarray and Illumina sequencing transcriptome analyses of fruits of Nicotiana sylvestris (flowering tobacco) and Solanum lycopersicum cv Micro-Tom (tomato) at stage 2 (initiation of cell proliferation), we selected 12 differentially expressed genes for further investigation. qRT-PCR studies on a subset of 7 of these showed that expression patterns of all were significantly different between the two species; transcript levels differed at individual developmental stages and dynamically across the four developmental stages. To determine the function of these candidate genes, we have initiated Virus Induced Gene Silencing (VIGS) analyses with an ortholog of the Arabidopsis gene FRUITFULL (FUL). Preliminary results from VIGS-treated tomato plants show a range of abnormalities including increased branching of the plants, defects in sepal, stamen, and ovary formation, and fruit defects in size, shape, and coloration. Some of these phenotypes are consistent with previously recorded functions of FUL and orthologs, but others may be novel.
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1 - The New York Botanical Garden, 200th St and Southern Blvd, Bronx, New York, 10458, USA
2 - New York Botanical Garden, 111 E 125th Street, Apt 4E, New York, NY, 10035, USA
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Location: Lindell D/Chase Park Plaza
Date: Wednesday, July 13th, 2011
Time: 10:30 AM