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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2003

The DAL10 gene from Norway spruce (Picea abies) belongs to a potentially gymnosperm-specific subclass of MADS-box genes and is specifically active in seed cones and pollen cones

Carlsbecker A, Sundstrom J, Tandre K, Englund M, Kvarnheden A, Johanson U, Engstrom P


Transcription factors encoded by different members of the MADS-box gene family have evolved central roles in the regulation of reproductive organ development in the flowering plants, the angiosperms. Development of the stamens and carpels, the pollen- and seed-bearing organs, involves the B- and C-organ-identity MADS-box genes. B- and C-type gene orthologs with activities specifically in developing pollen- and seed-bearing organs are also present in the distantly related gymnosperms: the conifers and the gneto-phytes. We now report on the characterization of DAL10, a novel MADS-box gene from the conifer Norway spruce, which unlike the B- and C-type conifer genes shows no distinct orthology relationship to any angiosperm gene or clade in phylogenetic analyses. Like the B- and C-type genes, it is active specifically in developing pollen cones and seed cones. In situ RNA localization experiments show DAL10 to be expressed in the cone axis, which carry the microsporophylls of the young pollen cone. In contrast, in the seed cone it is expressed both in the cone axis and in the bracts, which subtend the ovuliferous scales. Expression data and the phenotype of transgenic Arabidopsis plants expressing DAL10 suggest that the gene may act upstream to or in concert with the B- and C-type genes in the establishment of reproductive identity of developing cones

Published in

Evolution and Development
2003, Volume: 5, number: 6, pages: 551-561