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

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

Chapter 8 several

Chapter 8 several hypotheses that may fascinate researchers and encourage them to find the answers and open new doors for manipulation of floral morphology. Virus-induced gene silencing system The advent of the virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) system brought insights in new ways of studying functions of homeotic genes involved in flower development. In chapter seven of this thesis we described the genetics, molecular mechanisms, and methodological details of the VIGS system. We also speculate on the possibility of assessing the functions of monocot genes, and particularly those from lily, in a heterologous model system, such as Nicotiana benthamiana and rice. Preliminary results indicated that a gene fragment of phytoene desaturase derived from lily is able to elicit some degree of silencing in N. benthamiana. We hypothesised that floral homeotic functions are also capable to be silenced by the same mechanism. The information contained in this section will help to establish an approach to test our hypothesis that a model heterologous system, such as N. benthamiana or rice, can be used to ascribe gene function of floral homeotic transcription factors from monocot species. Prospects for research on flower development of lily Analyses of gene functions involved in lily flower development and generation of useful information on the molecular breeding potential of this species were the main objectives of the work described in this thesis. We could identify putative players in flower development of lily, we found interesting and novel homeotic floral mutants, and generated transgenic plants. Moreover, we also evaluated the possibility of using VIGS as a promising method for functionally characterise homeotic genes from monocots in a heterologous system as well as the homologous species, and raised hypotheses on the homeotic floral mutants that we found. Interesting topics for further investigation on flower development of lily could be on protein-protein interactions of transcription factors (intra-specifically and also between lily and dicot proteins); a further characterisation of the transcriptional profile of flower-specific genes could be assessed by in situ hybridisation; the functional characterisation of lily genes could be tested with VIGS in a heterologous model 122

Epilogue system, such as N. benthamiana or rice; and the bona fide domain of B functional genes could be better characterised in lily, in order to further substantiate the proposed dislocated model. The field for studying the molecular aspects of lily flower development is wide open and the future may uncover very interesting aspects that will produce new tools for ornamental breeders as well as reveal particular features of monocots and the Liliaceae plant family. REFERENCES Coen ES, Meyerowitz EM (1991) The war of the whorls: genetic interactions controlling flower development. Nature 353: 31-37 Mercuri A, Benedetti LD, Bruna S, Bregliano R, Bianchini C, Foglia G, Schiva T (2003) Agrobacterium-mediated transformation with Rol genes of Lilium longiflorum Thunb. Acta Hort 612: 129-136 Roeder AHK, Yanofsky MF (2001) Unraveling the mystery of double flowers. Dev Cell 1: 4-6 Theissen G, Becker A, Rosa AD, Kanno A, Kim JT, Münster T, Winter K-U, Saedler H (2000) A short history of MADS-box genes in plants. Plant Mol Biol 42: 115-149 Tzeng T-Y, Chen H-Y, Yang C-H (2002) Ectopic expression of carpel-specific MADS box genes from lily and lisianthus causes similar homeotic conversion of sepal and petal in Arabidopsis. Plant Physiol 130: 1827-1836 Tzeng T-Y, Yang C-H (2001) A MADS box gene from lily (Lilium longiflorum) is sufficient to generate dominant negative mutation by interacting with PISTILLATA (PI) in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant Cell Physiol 42: 1156-1168 van Tunen AJ, Eikelboom W, Angenent GC (1993) Floral organogenesis in Tulipa. Flowering Newsletter 16: 33-37 Zheng SJ, Khrustaleva L, Henken B, Sofiari E, Jacobsen E, Kik C, Krens FA (2001) Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation of Allium cepa L.: the production of transgenic onions and shallots. Mol Breed 7: 101-115 123

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