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Abstract Detail


Evolutionary Developmental Biology (Evo-Devo)

Di Stilio, Verónica S. [1], Ajay Kumar, Rachana [2].

Functional analysis of floral genes by Viral induced Gene Silencing in Thalictrum (Ranunculaceae).

Gene duplication followed by functional divergence is a common thread in plant evolution. Hence the need to develop new model plants in which this process has resulted in yet unexplored morphological and functional diversity. This study analyzes gene function in the early-diverging Eudicot genus Thalictrum, offering a window into the evolution of flower development. Thalictrum has a high diversity of flower form, accompanied by multiple copies of florally expressed transcription regulators that exist as single-copy genes in model systems such as Arabidopsis. This study uses viral induced gene silencing (VIGS), a recently developed technique that causes transient gene knockdown, to dissect gene function among duplicates of floral organ identity genes. Mutations at these loci cause drastic changes, potentially accelerating the evolution of new floral forms. Preliminary results show effective silencing of the marker gene phytoene desaturase (PDS) which encodes an enzyme involved in the carotenoid pathway. Silencing of PDS produces bleaching of photosynthetic tissue, serving as a useful marker of silenced plants at the vegetative state. We will discuss preliminary results for the double silencing of PDS and floral genes, and its implications for an increased understanding of floral evolution in Thalictrum.


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1 - University of Washington, Department of Biology, Box 351800, Seattle, WA, 98195-1800, USA
2 - University of Washington, Department of Biology, BOX 351800, Seattle, WA, 98195, USA

Keywords:
VIGS
PDS
Thalictrum
MADs box genes
Flower development.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: 53
Location: 101/Law
Date: Wednesday, July 30th, 2008
Time: 10:30 AM
Number: 53008
Abstract ID:730


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