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Expression patterns of Passiflora edulis APETALA1/FRUITFULL homologues shed light onto tendril and corona identities

Overview of attention for article published in EvoDevo, February 2017
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Expression patterns of Passiflora edulis APETALA1/FRUITFULL homologues shed light onto tendril and corona identities
Published in
EvoDevo, February 2017
DOI 10.1186/s13227-017-0066-x
Pubmed ID

Livia C. T. Scorza, Jose Hernandes-Lopes, Gladys F. A. Melo-de-Pinna, Marcelo C. Dornelas


Passiflora (passionflowers) makes an excellent model for studying plant evolutionary development. They are mostly perennial climbers that display axillary tendrils, which are believed to be modifications of the inflorescence. Passionflowers are also recognized by their unique flower features, such as the extra whorls of floral organs composed of corona filaments and membranes enclosing the nectary. Although some work on Passiflora organ ontogeny has been done, the developmental identity of both Passiflora tendrils and the corona is still controversial. Here, we combined ultrastructural analysis and expression patterns of the flower meristem and floral organ identity genes of the MADS-box AP1/FUL clade to reveal a possible role for these genes in the generation of evolutionary novelties in Passiflora. We followed the development of structures arising from the axillary meristem from juvenile to adult phase in P. edulis. We further assessed the expression pattern of P. edulis AP1/FUL homologues (PeAP1 and PeFUL), by RT-qPCR and in situ hybridization in several tissues, correlating it with the developmental stages of P. edulis. PeAP1 is expressed only in the reproductive stage, and it is highly expressed in tendrils and in flower meristems from the onset of their development. PeAP1 is also expressed in sepals, petals and in corona filaments, suggesting a novel role for PeAP1 in floral organ diversification. PeFUL presented a broad expression pattern in both vegetative and reproductive tissues, and it is also expressed in fruits. Our results provide new molecular insights into the morphological diversity in the genus Passiflora. Here, we bring new evidence that tendrils are part of the Passiflora inflorescence. This points to the convergence of similar developmental processes involving the recruitment of genes related to flower identity in the origin of tendrils in different plant families. The data obtained also support the hypothesis that the corona filaments are likely sui generis floral organs. Additionally, we provide an indication that PeFUL acts as a coordinator of passionfruit development.

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Mendeley readers

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Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 20 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Unspecified 4 20%
Student > Master 4 20%
Student > Ph. D. Student 4 20%
Researcher 3 15%
Student > Bachelor 2 10%
Other 3 15%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 14 70%
Unspecified 4 20%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 1 5%
Arts and Humanities 1 5%

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