Emerging Model Species for Developmental, Evolutionary and Functional Analyses
Teeri, Teemu H. , Broholm, Suvi , Ruokolainen, Satu , Tähtiharju, Sari , Laitinen, Roosa , Albert, Victor A. , Elomaa, Paula .
Genetic dissection of inflorescence patterning in Asteraceae.
As is typical of the large sunflower family (Asteraceae), the ornamental plant Gerbera hybrida bears different types of flowers in its densely packed capitulum. The marginal ray flowers have large and brightly colored petals that attract pollinators to the center of the capitulum where the numerous but inconspicuous disc flowers reside. In addition to different shapes and symmetries, the flower types of gerbera also differ in sex; the central flowers are hermaphrodite whereas the marginal flowers are female. We have been interested in exploring families of floral regulatory genes in gerbera in order to uncover 'molecular adjustments' responsible for Asteraceae-specific features of flower development. Members of the large MADS-box gene family have shown subfunctionalization in gerbera that relates to differences observed in the flower types. Another family of regulatory genes, the TCP transcription factors, is involved in several processes that relate to plant architecture. A gerbera member of this gene family, GCYC2, may be involved in regulation of flower type. Its overexpression in transgenic gerbera lines causes feminization and increased petal growth in the disc flowers. Interestingly, this phenotype resembles effects of a dominant locus known to gerbera breeders. Our most powerful method for assessment of gene function in gerbera is genetic transformation. In addition, we have generated an EST collection of 17,000 sequences, which has proved to be a great resource for gene discovery and for obtaining transcriptome-level data in our Asteraceae model.
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Laitinen, R.A.E., Broholm, S., Albert, V.A., Teeri, T.H. and Elomaa, P. 2006: Patterns of MADS-box gene expression mark flower-type development in Gerbera hybrida (Asteraceae). BMC Plant Biology, 6:11.
1 - University of Helsinki, Department of Applied Biology, P.O. Box 27, Helsinki, FIN-00014, Finland
2 - University of Oslo, Natural History Museum, P.O. Box 1172 Blindern, Oslo, NO-0318, Norway
Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Location: Stevens 1/Hilton
Date: Monday, July 9th, 2007
Time: 1:30 PM