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Abstract Detail

Developmental and Structural Section

Abeer, Mohamed [1], Litt, Amy [2].

Functional divergence of the paralogous AP1 and FUL MADS-box genes.

Several meristem identity genes are responsible for the transition from the vegetative to the reproductive phase during Arabidopsis development. One of the best characterized is APETALA1 (AP1). Together AP1 and its paralog FRUITFULL (FUL) act redundantly to promote floral meristem identity. Although AP1and FUL share a role in meristem identity, AP1 and FUL also have independent functions. AP1 plays a role in sepal and petal identity, and FUL is required for proper fruit development in Arabidopsis. In addition, they are expressed in separate domains. AP1 is expressed in the floral meristem and perianth whorls, whereas FUL is expressed in the inflorescence meristem and carpel. The duplication in the AP1/FUL lineage which produced the euFUL (including FUL) and euAP1 (including AP1) gene clades coincided with the diversification of the core eudicots. As a result of this duplication and subsequent sequence divergence, AP1 and FUL proteins have different conserved sequence motifs. Questions about the role of these conserved sequence motifs in protein function, floral development, and the functional evolution of the gene lineage remain. In particular it is not clear whether the new motifs observed in the euAP1 proteins confer new functions that differ from those of the euFUL proteins as well as the FUL-like proteins found outside of the core eudicots. An alternative explanation is that the observed functional differences are the result of differences in regulation. We are investigating the relationship of AP1 and FUL in Arabidopsis using promoter swap and mutant construct experiments. Preliminary results show that FUL is not capable of replacing AP1 function in perianth identity when expressed in the AP1 expression domain. These observations suggest that the different conserved sequence motifs in AP1 and FUL do confer different functional capabilities. In addition, our data suggest possible new regulatory mechanisms for the AP1 promoter.

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1 - The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG), Genomics, 2900 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY, 10458, USA
2 - The New York Botanical Garden, 200th St and Southern Boulevard, Bronx, NY, 10458-5126, USA

Floral development
MADS-box genes
meristem identity genes.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for BSA Sections
Session: 51
Location: Maybird/Cliff Lodge - Level C
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2009
Time: 3:45 PM
Number: 51005
Abstract ID:411