Regulatory genes control a key morphological and ecological trait transferred between species

M Kim, M-L Cui, P Cubas, A Gillies, K Lee, M A Chapman, Richard John Abbott, E Coen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

221 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Hybridization between species can lead to introgression of genes from one species to another, providing a potential mechanism for preserving and recombining key traits during evolution. To determine the molecular basis of such transfers, we analyzed a natural polymorphism for flowerhead development in Senecio. We show that the polymorphism arose by introgression of a cluster of regulatory genes, the RAY locus, from the diploid species S. squalidus into the tetraploid S. vulgaris. The RAY genes are expressed in the peripheral regions of the inflorescence meristem, where they promote flower asymmetry and lead to an increase in the rate of outcrossing. Our results highlight how key morphological and ecological traits controlled by regulatory genes may be gained, lost, and regained during evolution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1116-1119
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume322
Issue number5904
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Nov 2008

Keywords

  • SENECIO-VULGARIS L
  • MIXED MATING SYSTEMS
  • VAR HIBERNICUS SYME
  • RADIATE GROUNDSEL
  • CYCLOIDEA GENE
  • TCP DOMAIN
  • MADS-BOX
  • ORIGIN
  • ANTIRRHINUM
  • ASTERACEAE

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