The class B genes DEFICIENS (DEF)/APETALA3 (AP3) and GLOBOSA (GLO)/PISTILLATA (PI), encoding MADS-box transcription factors, and their functions in petal and stamen development have been intensely studied in Arabidopsis and Antirrhinum. However, the functions of class B genes in other plants, including ornamental species exhibiting floral morphology different from these model plants, have not received nearly as much attention. Here, we examine the cooperative functions of TfDEF and TfGLO on floral organ development in the ornamental plant torenia (Torenia fournieri Lind.). Torenia plants co-overexpressing TfDEF and TfGLO showed a morphological alteration of sepals to petaloid organs. Phenotypically, these petaloid sepals were nearly identical to petals but had no stamens or yellow patches like those of wild-type petals. Furthermore, the inflorescence architecture in the co-overexpressing torenias showed a characteristic change in which, unlike the wild-types, their flowers developed without peduncles. Evaluation of the petaloid sepals showed that these attained a petal-like nature in terms of floral organ phenotype, cell shape, pigment composition, and the expression patterns of anthocyanin biosynthesis-related genes. In contrast, torenias in which TfDEF and TfGLO were co-suppressed exhibited sepaloid petals in the second whorl. The sepaloid petals also attained a sepal-like nature, in the same way as the petaloid sepals. The results clearly demonstrate that TfDEF and TfGLO play important cooperative roles in petal development in torenia. Furthermore, the unique transgenic phenotypes produced create a valuable new way through which characteristics of petal development and inflorescence architecture can be investigated in torenia.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 1, 2014
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