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Regulatory Genes Control a Key Morphological and Ecological Trait Transferred Between Species

AuthorsKim, Minsung; Cui, Min-Long; Cubas Domínguez, Pilar; Gillies, Amanda; Lee, Karen; Chapman, Mark A.; Abbott, Richard J.; Coen, Enrico
KeywordsSenecio squalidus
Senecio vulgaris
Flower-head development
Natural polymorphism
Gene introgression
Morphological traits
Issue Date14-Nov-2008
PublisherAmerican Association for the Advancement of Science
CitationScience 322(5904): 1116-1119 (2008)
AbstractHybridization 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 flower-head 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.
Description4 pages, 4 figures.-- Supporting material available at Science Online: Materials and Methods, Fig. S1 [Sequence alignment of RAY1 and RAY2 coding regions], Table S1 [Haplotypes and accessions] & References (7 pages).-- GenBank accession numbers for RAY1 and RAY2 are FJ356698 to FJ356704.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1164371
Appears in Collections:(CNB) Artículos
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