Abstract Detail



Comparative Genomics/Transcriptomics

Sinn, Brandon [1], Ranjbaran, Ali [2], Barrett, Craig [2].

Transcription Factor Family Evolution in Fully Mycoheterotrophic Orchids.

All orchids have a unique life history among plants in that they are obligate parasites of fungi in the initial stages of their lifecycle, termed ‘initial mycoheterotrophy.’ Some orchids are non-photosynthetic and obtain all of their nutrients from mycorrhizal symbionts (full mycoheterotrophy), while others retain photosynthetic capacity (partial mycoheterotrophy).  Full mycoheterotrophy has evolved independently throughout the orchids an estimated minimum of 30 times, making this group an ideal system in which to study the molecular mechanisms underlying shifts from partial to full mycoheterotrophy. Nuclear-encoded transcription factors have been implicated in plant defense response and the maintenance of genome stability, and transcription factor family expansions are thought to have positively influenced major cladogenic events. But what roles have transcription factors played in the evolution of fully mycoheterotrophic lineages whose species tolerate both fungal growth within their tissues and reduced genome stability? Here we test hypotheses involving transcription factors associated with responses to fungi. We use genome skimming and RNA-seq in closely related partially and fully mycoheterotrophic orchids to study transcription factor expression, gene family expansion and contraction, and substitution rates across the three plant genomes, to evaluate the role of transcription factors in the evolution of full mycoheterotrophy.


1 - West Virginia University, Biology, Life Sciences Building, 53 Campus Drive, Morgantown, WV, 26506, United States
2 - West Virginia University, Biology, 53 Campus Drive, Morgantown, WV, 26506, USA

Keywords:
Orchid
fungi
transcriptomics
transcription factors
gene family evolution.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Number: 0014
Abstract ID:604
Candidate for Awards:Margaret Menzel Award


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