Abstract Detail

Development and Structure

Munoz, Sarita [1], Yuan, Yaowu [1].

Creation of novel pigmentation patterns in monkeyflowers (Mimulus).

Color and color patterns are among the most striking characters of plants. From stripes to spots, plants can produce diverse and complex pigmentation patterns. MYB transcription factors (TFs) are related to many functions in plants, including the regulation of the production of anthocyanin pigments. In Mimulus, three MYBs have been reported to play important roles in the development of pigmentation patterns in the flowers. Two R2R3-MYB genes, PELAN (PETAL LOBE ANTHOCYANIN) and NEGAN (NECTAR GUIDE ANTHOCYANIN) are activators of anthocyanin production, while the R3-MYB gene RTO (RED TONGUE) is an inhibitor of pigment production and interacts with NEGAN to produce petal spots. Pigmentation in plants can also follow floral symmetry patterns. The TCP genes CYC (CYCLOIDEA) and DICH (DICHOTOMA) determine dorsal identity of petals in bilaterally symmetrical flowers. In this study we aim to create novel pigmentation patterns in Mimulus flowers by using color and symmetry related genes. We have used a synthetic biology approach to spatially guide anthocyanin production-related genes by fusing a synthetic cis-regulatory element containing multiple copies of the CYC-binding site with the coding DNA of each of the pigment-regulating MYB genes (PELAN, NEGNAN, and RTO). Mimulus parishii offers a unique opportunity for the study of color patterns in flowers because it’s a self-pollinated plant with a short time between the stages of germination and flower. It is also amenable to transgenic analyses with a high success rate. By transforming these constructs into different genetic backgrounds of Mimulus parishii, a species with very high transformation efficiency, we aim to create flowers with dark-pinked dorsal petals but pale-pinked lateral and ventral petals, or pale-pinked dorsal petals but dark-pinked lateral and ventral petals or spotted dorsal petals but non-spotted lateral and ventral petals.

1 - University of Connecticut, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 75 N Eagleville Rd, Storrs, Ct, 06269, USA

TCP genes
MYB genes
Floral Symmetry.

Presentation Type: Poster
Number: PDS006
Abstract ID:313
Candidate for Awards:None

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