Abstract Detail

Development and Structure

Zahid, Simra [1], Di Stilio, Veronica [2].

Novel Roles for a Plant Epidermal Transcription Factor in Early Diverging Eudicots.

Land plants have evolved specialized epidermal cells to adapt to life on land. In wind-pollinated plants, epidermal features such as feathery stigmas have evolved to help catch pollen in the wind and may provide reproductive assurance in pollinator-limited landscapes. MIXTA/MIXTA-like MYB factors modulate the differentiation of distinct cell identities in the epidermis of land plants. Here, we find that MIXTA-like transcription factors in the early-diverging eudicot model, Thalictrum, play a role in the development of multiple epidermal features including trichomes, stigmatic papillae, and conical cells. We used targeted gene silencing in Thalictrum thalictroides and heterologous overexpression in tobacco to reveal an effect on the elongation of trichomes and stigmatic papillae. Using RNAseq we found that the length-associated function of MIXTA-like genes in Thalictrum leaves involves a microtubule-associated mechanism. Comparison of gene expression between a diploid, insect-pollinated species Thalictrum thalictroides and wind-pollinated, polyploid species Thalictrum dioicum (4X) and Thalictrum dasycarpum (12x), shows that MIXTA-like genes show higher expression in the carpels of polyploid species. These findings suggest that, in addition to having a role in trichomes in the leaves and floral organs, MIXTA-like genes may be contributing to the elongation of stigmatic papillae in feathery stigmas of wind-pollinated species in Thalictrum.

1 - University of Washington, 1400 NE Campus Parkway, Seattle, WA, 98195-4550, Seattle, WA, 98195, United States
2 - University Of Washington, Biology, 549 Life Sciences Building, PO BOX 351800, Seattle, WA, 98195, United States

Epidermal cellsĀ 
Pollination syndromes

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Number: DS3005
Abstract ID:301
Candidate for Awards:Developmental and Structural Section Graduate Student Registration Award

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