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Abstract Detail

Evolutionary Developmental Biology (Evo-Devo)

Litt, Amy [1], Mohamed, Abeer [2], McCarthy, Elizabeth [3], Strahl, Maya [2], Piccirillo-Stosser, Caitlin [4], Naghshineh, Nina [5].

Functional evolution of the FRUITFULL gene family in Solanaceae.

The Arabidopsis FUL transcription factor regulates a variety of developmental processes including lignification of the dehiscence zone of the fruit (the silique characteristic of Brassicaceae).  In ful mutants the silique fails to elongate properly, leading to premature and irregular rupture of the fruit wall.  Recent work by us and others has shown that FUL genes are required for proper pericarp thickness and color in tomato fruits; thus FUL orthologs are required for proper development of both dry and fleshy fruit.  However Solanaceae is phylogenetically distant from Brassicaceae, the berries of Solanaceae are derived from capsules, not siliques, and tomato has four FUL paralogs.  We are therefore exploring the evolutionary changes in the FUL gene lineage that accompanied the origin of fleshy fruit from dry within Solanaceae.  Preliminary gene tree analyses indicated that species with the derived fleshy fruit had four paralogs whereas species with dry fruit had only three, suggesting a duplication correlated with the origin of fleshy fruit.  However transcriptome data from Nicotiana obtusifolia (desert tobacco), a rapid-growing rapid-flowering diploid species we are developing as a research system, has four paralogs as well.  We have recovered relatively few genes in the clade containing this fourth gene, suggesting restricted expression, which is unusual in that FUL genes are normally expressed quite broadly.  We have downregulated two paralogs in both tomato and desert tobacco and have as yet found no function in fruit development in the latter, although we did find defects in flowering time, branching, internode length, and sepal senescence.  In tomato, in addition to the fruit defects, we observed increased branching but no other defects (potentially due to different growth habits).  In addition to expanding our study of gene function, we are continuing to build the gene tree to localize duplications and losses and to characterize evolution of the gene clades.

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1 - The New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, NY, 10458, USA
2 - The New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY, 10458, USA
3 - The New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY, 10458
4 - Ossining High School, Ossining , NY
5 - Nightingale-Bamford School, New York, NY

none specified

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: 41
Location: Payette/Boise Centre
Date: Wednesday, July 30th, 2014
Time: 1:45 PM
Number: 41002
Abstract ID:432
Candidate for Awards:None

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