Evolution of the Petal and Stamen Developmental Programs: Evidence from Comparative Studies of the Basal Angiosperms
Irish, Vivian F.
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CitationKramer, Elena M. and Vivian F. Irish. 2000. Evolution of the petal and stamen developmental programs: Evidence from comparative studies of the basal angiosperms. International Journal of Plant Science 161(S6): S29-S40.
AbstractOur recently acquired understanding of the ABC program, which controls floral organ identity in model plant species such as Arabidopsis thaliana and Antirrhinum majus, has provided a new set of characters with which to evaluate floral evolution. What is still lacking, however, is a clear assessment of the actual degree of conservation of this genetic program across the angiosperms. To this end, we have begun to investigate the evolution of members of the B class gene lineages, which are known to control petal and stamen identity in the higher eudicots, and to analyze their expression patterns in selected species from the lower eudicots and basal angiosperms. The B class genes comprise the homologues of the A. thaliana genes APETALA3 (AP3) and PISTILLATA (PI), which are closely related paralogues encoding MADS box-containing DNA-binding proteins. This study has uncovered many examples of gene duplication and divergence in both the AP3 and PI lineages as well as complex and variable patterns of gene expression. These findings indicate that although some aspects of the ABC program are conserved, others display a high degree of plasticity and may not have become fixed until later in angiosperm evolution.
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