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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(7), 13796-13807; doi:10.3390/ijms140713796
Article

MAEWEST Expression in Flower Development of Two Petunia Species

1
, 2
, 3
, 3
, 3
, 2
 and 1,*
1 Laboratory of Molecular Evolution, Department of Genetics, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, P.O. Box 15053, 91501-970 Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil 2 Laboratory of Genomes and Plant Population, Center of Biotechnology and Department of Biophysics, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, P.O. Box 15053, 91501-970 Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil 3 Department of Plant Biology, Institute of Biology, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, P.O. Box 6109, 13418-970 Campinas, SP, Brazil
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 May 2013 / Revised: 14 June 2013 / Accepted: 28 June 2013 / Published: 3 July 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Research in Plant Secondary Metabolism)
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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 MAEWEST; Petunia inflata; Petunia axillaris; organ fusion; flower morphology
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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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.

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