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Identification and characterization of two Bamboo (Phyllostachys praecox) AP1/SQUA-like MADS-box genes during floral transition

Lin, Er-Pei, Peng, Hua-Zheng, Jin, Qun-Ying, Deng, Min-Juan, Li, Tao, Xiao, Xin-Chao, Hua, Xi-Qi, Wang, Kui-Hong, Bian, Hong-Wu, Han, Ning, Zhu, Mu-Yuan
Planta 2009 v.231 no.1 pp. 109-120
Arabidopsis, Phyllostachys, alternative splicing, asexual reproduction, bamboos, flowering, functional properties, genes, grasses, in situ hybridization, sequence analysis, subtropics, tropics, yeasts
Bamboo (Bambusoideae) is by far the largest member of the grass family Poaceae, which is vital to the economy of many countries in the tropics and subtropics. However, the mechanism of flowering of bamboo (Phyllostachys praecox) is still unknown. In this study, we isolated two novel genes from P. praecox and evaluated their functional characteristics. The sequence and phylogenetic analysis indicated that these two genes, named PpMADS1 and PpMADS2, belong to FUL3 and FUL1 clade of Poaceae AP1/SQUA-like genes, respectively. The PpMADS2 possesses a truncated C terminus lacking the highly conserved paleoAP1 motif. It was further confirmed that the truncated C-terminal region was produced by natural sequence deletion in exons, but not by alternative splicing. Ectopic expression of PpMADS1 and PpMADS2 significantly promoted early flowering through upregulation of AP1 in Arabidopsis. Yeast two-hybrid experiments demonstrated that AP1 protein can interact with PpMADS1 but not PpMADS2, suggesting that these two genes may act differently in signaling early flowering of bamboo plants. RT-qPCR and in situ hybridization analysis revealed distinct expression patterns of these two genes in vegetative and reproductive tissues of bamboo. Taken together, our results suggest that both PpMADS1 and PpMADS2 are involved in floral transition, and PpMADS2 might play more important roles than PpMADS1 in floral development of Phyllostachys praecox.