Abstract: Changes in flower morphology may influence the frequency and specificity of animal visitors. In Petunia (Solanaceae), adaptation to different pollinators is one of the factors leading to species diversification within the genus. This study provides evidence that differential expression patterns of MAWEWEST (MAW) homologs in different Petunia species may be associated with adaptive changes in floral morphology. The Petunia × hybrida MAW gene belongs to the WOX (WUSCHEL-related homeobox) transcription factor family and has been identified as a controller of petal fusion during corolla formation. We analyzed the expression patterns of P. inflata and P. axillaris MAW orthologs (PiMAW and PaMAW, respectively) by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), reverse transcription–quantitative PCR (qRT-PCR) and in situ hybridization in different tissues and different developmental stages of flowers in both species. The spatial expression patterns of PiMAW and PaMAW were similar in P. inflata and P. axillaris. Nevertheless, PaMAW expression level in P. axillaris was higher during the late bud development stage as compared to PiMAW in P. inflata. This work represents an expansion of petunia developmental research to wild accessions.
Keywords: MAEWEST; Petunia inflata; Petunia axillaris; organ fusion; flower morphology
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Segatto, A.L.A.; Turchetto-Zolet, A.C.; Aizza, L.C.B.; Monte-Bello, C.C.; Dornelas, M.C.; Margis, R.; Freitas, L.B. MAEWEST Expression in Flower Development of Two Petunia Species. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14, 13796-13807.
Segatto ALA, Turchetto-Zolet AC, Aizza LCB, Monte-Bello CC, Dornelas MC, Margis R, Freitas LB. MAEWEST Expression in Flower Development of Two Petunia Species. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2013; 14(7):13796-13807.
Segatto, Ana L.A.; Turchetto-Zolet, Andreia C.; Aizza, Lilian C.B.; Monte-Bello, Carolina C.; Dornelas, Marcelo C.; Margis, Rogerio; Freitas, Loreta B. 2013. "MAEWEST Expression in Flower Development of Two Petunia Species." Int. J. Mol. Sci. 14, no. 7: 13796-13807.