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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2007

APETALA2 like genes from Picea abies show functional similarities to their Arabidopsis homologues

Nilsson L, Carlsbecker A, Sundas-Larsson A, Vahala T


In angiosperm flower development the identity of the floral organs is determined by the A, B and C factors. Here we present the characterisation of three homologues of the A class gene APETALA2 (AP2) from the conifer Picea abies (Norway spruce), Picea abies APETALA2 LIKE1 (PaAP2L1), PaAP2L2 and PaAP2L3. Similar to AP2 these genes contain sequence motifs complementary to miRNA172 that has been shown to regulate AP2 in Arabidopsis. The genes display distinct expression patterns during plant development; in the female-cone bud PaAP2L1 and PaAP2L3 are expressed in the seed-bearing ovuliferous scale in a pattern complementary to each other, and overlapping with the expression of the C class-related gene DAL2. To study the function of PaAP2L1 and PaAP2L2 the genes were expressed in Arabidopsis. The transgenic PaAP2L2 plants were stunted and flowered later than control plants. Flowers were indeterminate and produced an excess of floral organs most severely in the two inner whorls, associated with an ectopic expression of the meristem-regulating gene WUSCHEL. No homeotic changes in floral-organ identities occurred, but in the ap2-1 mutant background PaAP2L2 was able to promote petal identity, indicating that the spruce AP2 gene has the capacity to substitute for an A class gene in Arabidopsis. In spite of the long evolutionary distance between angiosperms and gymnosperms and the fact that gymnosperms lack structures homologous to sepals and petals our data supports a functional conservation of AP2 genes among the seed plants

Published in

2007, Volume: 225, number: 3, pages: 589-602
Publisher: SPRINGER

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Forest Science

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