Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 541465
Title Data from: The origin of floral organ identity quartets
Author(s) Ruelens, Philip; Zhang, Zhicheng; Mourik, H. van; Maere, Steven; Kaufmann, K.; Geuten, Koen
DOI https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.9kp7d
Department(s) PRI BIOS Plant Development Systems
Laboratory of Molecular Biology
Publication type Dataset
Publication year 2017
Keyword(s) evolution - angiosperms - flower development - MADS-domain - ancestral sequence rteconstruction
Abstract The origin of flowers has puzzled plant biologists ever since Darwin referred to their sudden appearance in the fossil record as an abominable mystery. Flowers are considered to be an assembly of protective, attractive and reproductive male and female leaf-like organs. Their origin cannot be understood by a morphological comparison to gymnosperms, their closest relatives, which develop separate male or female cones. Despite these morphological differences, gymnosperms and angiosperms possess a similar genetic toolbox consisting of phylogenetically related MADS-domain proteins. Using ancestral MADS-domain protein reconstruction, we trace the evolution of organ identity quartets along the stem lineage of crown angiosperms. We provide evidence that current floral quartets specifying male organ identity, which consist of four types of subunits, evolved from ancestral complexes of two types of subunits through gene duplication and integration of SEPALLATA proteins just before the origin of flowering plants. Our results suggest that protein interaction changes underlying this compositional shift were the result of a gradual and reversible evolutionary trajectory. Modelling shows that such compositional changes may have facilitated the evolution of the perfect, bisexual flower.
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