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Resolving the green branch of life: Current progress and future challenges

Zahn, Laura [1].

Conservation and divergence of sequences and expression patterns in floral developmental MADS-box genes.

Comparative studies within and among different plant taxa are a major focus of the study of floral developmental genes. Molecular genetic studies in Arabidopsis and other model plants have uncovered a large number of genes that play critical roles in controlling flower development. These include the ABC (DE) genes and other members of the MADS-box family. MADS-box genes encode transcription factors of which several sub-families are important in floral organ identity in the flowering plants. This study investigated the phylogenetic relationships in several MADS-box sub-families in the seed plants. Although homologs of many MADS-box genes have been isolated and analyzed from many eudicots and some monocots, it is not clear what are the phylogenetic relationships between some members and how conserved the expression of these genes are among divergent angiosperm lineages. To investigate the extent of conservation and divergence in expression in MADS-box genes, in situ hybridization was performed with young floral buds to determine the expression patterns of these genes to better understand how expression patterns have both been conserved and diverged at key evolutionary positions in the Angiosperms. By focusing on the results of these expression studies in a phylogenetic context I hope to gain new insights into the evolution of the MADS-box genes in the seed plants. This work was supported by the US National Science Foundation Plant Genome Program.


1 - Pennsylvania State University, Biology, 313 Wartik, University Park, Pennsylvania, 16802, USA

Keywords:
development
Evolution
flower development
molecular phylogenetics
MADS box genes
gene expression .

Presentation Type: Symposium
Session: 46-5
Location: Ballroom 3 (Cliff Lodge)
Date: Wednesday, August 4th, 2004
Time: 10:00 AM
Abstract ID:108


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