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New Findings in the evolutionary mechanism of molecular regulation in floral symmetry
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CYCLOIDEA (CYC)-like TCP genes have conserved dorsal identity function in patterning floral zygomorphy. Their expression changes are usually related to morphological diversity of zygomorphic flowers. However, it is still a challenge to elucidate the molecular mechanism underlying their expression differentiation. Professor WANG Yinzheng of the Institute of Botany, CAS and his colleagues noticed these questions, they selected two closely related species (Petrocosmea glabristoma and P. sinensis) with distinct petal morphology to conduct expression, hybridization, mutant, and allele-specific expression analyses. The results show that the size change of the dorsal petals between the two species is mainly mediated by the interspecific expression differentiation of CYC1C and CYC1D. They further find that the expression differentiation of these TCP genes is underlain by distinctly different types of regulatory changes. The new findings suggest that highly redundant paralogs with identical expression patterns and interspecific expression differentiation may be controlled by remarkably different regulatory pathways because natural selection may favor different regulatory modifications rather than coding sequence changes of key developmental genes in generating morphological diversity. Their findings provide a challenge to the present way of evaluating and understanding the role of selection in fixation of gene duplications and their evolutionary fates. In addition, it is the first report that CYC- and CIN-like TCP genes act together in patterning a specific morphology of floral zygomorphy with their coordinate expression differentiation giving rise to phenotypic variations



Figure 1: Pg: P. glabristoma; Ps: P. sinensis; Pg×Ps: CrossPs×Pg: reciprocal cross. 


Figure 2: A diagram showing putative molecular regulatory mechanisms for the formation of distinct zygomorphic flowers in Petrocosmea spp. 


Special Link to http://www.plantphysiol.org/content/169/3/2138.full.pdf+html - Yang et al. (2015). Distinct Regulatory Changes Underlying Differential Expression of TEOSINTE BRANCHED1-CYCLOIDEAPROLIFERATING CELL FACTOR Genes Associated with Petal Variations in Zygomorphic Flowers of Petrocosmea spp. of the Family Gesneriaceae. Plant Physiology, November 2015, Vol. 169, pp. 2138–2151.


For more information, please contact Professor WANG Yinzheng at wangyz@ibcas.ac.cn


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