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Flower development of Lilium longiflorum - The Lilium information ...

Flower development of Lilium longiflorum - The Lilium information ...

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The ABCDE model for lily EPILOGUE Epilogue The early ABC model for floral organ development was proposed in the beginning of the 1990's, based on observations of floral homeotic mutants of Arabidopsis thaliana and Antirrhinum majus (Coen and Meyerowitz, 1991). As soon as the early ABC model was proposed, van Tunen et al. (1993) postulated that, as flowers of members of the Liliaceae family show tepals instead of sepals and petals, they could present a distinct gene expression pattern of some genes of the model. This hypothesis was mainly alluding to the B function, of which the expression would have expanded towards the first whorl in order to provide petal appearance to the first whorl organs as well. Lily species (Lilium spp.), despite their importance as ornamental flowers, had the first report about a molecular study on floral genes no earlier than the year 2000, when Theissen et al. (2000) sequenced several MADS-box genes from L. regale and located them phylogenetically among many other MADS-box genes derived from several species. As most of homeotic transcription factors involved in the ABCDE model encompass a MADS domain, this was the beginning of the flower development history in lily at its molecular level. Following this first event, the molecular genetics of lily has progressed at a rapid pace. Several functional orthologues from L. longiflorum have been identified in the last two years, including a B type (LMADS1; Tzeng and Yang, 2001) and a putative D type gene (LMADS2; Tzeng et al., 2002). This thesis contributes to this research area with the identification and characterisation of L. longiflorum genes that may hold the C and the E functions (LLAG1 in chapter two and LLSEP3 in chapter three, respectively) during floral organ development. Both genes were functionally characterised in the heterologous model species Arabidopsis. Figure 1 shows the current state of the ABCDE model for flower development in L. longiflorum in comparison with the most studied reference, Arabidopsis. It can be noticed that the A function is still elusive in the species. Our contribution to the genetic characterization of the ABCDE functions in Lilium is significant in fundamental and applied fields. Evolutionary and developmental biologists can use this information to assess some aspects of floral biology in monocots, and in the Liliaceae family particularly, such as protein 119

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