Branaman, Tatum J. , Swanson, John-David .
Phylogenetics versus function: Sequencing and analysis of the floral identity gene LEAFY promoter in Theobroma cacao.
The annual plant Arabidopsis and the perennial plant Populus trichocarpa, both of whose entire genomes have been sequenced and published, are the model organisms for eudicots. Studies show that Arabidopsis, Theobroma cacao and Populus are closely related to each other, all being members of the Rosids. However, T. cacao and Arabidopsis are more closely related, as they are members of Eurosids II, compared to Populus, which is a member of Eurosids I. Alternatively, T. cacao and Populus have similar lifestyles as they are both perennials and are tree-like, woody species. It is a conundrum that T. cacao and Populus are morphologically similar, but T. cacao and Arabidopsis are more closely related at the phylogenetic level. LEAFY (LFY) is the major floral meristem identity gene. When sequenced and analyzed, the Arabidopsis and Populus LFY promoters are completely different; however, they share an identical eight base pair region where a MYB transcription factor binding site is located. Further studies have shown that interactions between this MYB transcription factor and gibberellic acid (GA) play a role in LFY expression, but GA affects Arabidopsis and Populus differently. The addition of GA to Arabidopsis promotes flowering; conversely, adding GA to Populus inhibits flowering. We are currently sequencing and analyzing the upstream regions of the T. cacao LFY gene. By analyzing the T. cacao LEAFY promoter sequence, we will gain unique insights to underlying themes of floral control and GA responses. This will allow us to address the question of morphology vs. phylogeny when comparing Arabidopsis, Populus and T. cacao.
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UCA Department of Biology Website
1 - University of Central Arkansas, Department of Biology, 201 Donaghey Ave., 180 Lewis Science Center, Conway, AR, 72035, USA
2 - University of Central Arkansas, Department of Biology
Presentation Type: Plant Biology Abstract
Location: Exhibit Hall (Northeast, Southwest & Southeast)/Hilton
Date: Sunday, July 8th, 2007
Time: 8:00 AM