Evolutionary Developmental Biology (Evo-Devo)
Woods, Daniel , Malcomber, Simon .
Phylogenetic and evolutionary-developmental analyses of BARREN STALK1-like genes in flowering plants.
The degree of lateral branching plays a major role in determining the appearance of plants. In inflorescences the amount of lateral branching determines how many flowers an individual plant can produce, and in cereal crops such as barley, oats, sorghum and tef, the degree of inflorescence branching is directly proportional to crop yield. The basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor BARREN STALK1 (BA1) plays crucial roles in regulating lateral branching in corn and rice, but its function in other cereals has yet to be determined. Here we report the development of inflorescence branching within barley, oats, sorghum and tef using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), the cloning of BA1 orthologs, a phylogenetic analysis of BA1-like genes in flowering plants and an analysis of BA1 expression during inflorescence development using mRNA in situ hybridization. Bayesian phylogenetic analyses estimates a BA1 clade containing monocots and eudicots, suggesting that the lineage originated from a gene duplication event near the base of flowering plants. Sorghum bicolor BA1 (SbBA1) and Hordeum vulgare BA1 (HvBA1) expression was detected in a distinct domain above the initiation sites of lateral branching primordia in all stages of inflorescence development. These data are largely consistent with published expression and mutant analyses in rice and corn, further supporting the important roles BA1 orthologs play in shaping the complex architecture of the grass inflorescence and determining crop yield in diverse cereals. Whether BA1-like genes regulate branching in other monocots and eudicots has yet to be determined.
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Simon Malcomber's Lab
1 - California State University, Long Beach, Biological Sciences, 1250 Bellflower Blvd, Long Beach, CA, 90840, United States
Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Topics
Location: Ball Room & Party Room/SUB
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2008
Time: 12:30 PM