Identification of the Key Regulatory Genes Involved in Elaborate Petal Development and Specialized Character Formation in Nigella damascena (Ranunculaceae)

作  者:Zhang R, Fu XH, Zhao CY, Cheng J, Liao H, Wang PP, Yao X, Duan XS, Yuan Y, Xu GX, Kramer EM, Shan HY, Kong HZ*
刊物名称:Plant Cell
卷:32  期:10  页码:3095-3112


Petals can be simple or elaborate, depending on whether they have lobes, teeth, fringes, or appendages along their margins, or possess spurs, scales, or other types of modifications on their adaxial/abaxial side, or both. Elaborate petals have been recorded in 23 orders of angiosperms and are generally believed to have played key roles in the adaptive evolution of corresponding lineages. The mechanisms underlying the formation of elaborate petals, however, are largely unclear. Here, by performing extensive transcriptomic and functional studies on Nigella damascena (Ranunculaceae), we explore the mechanisms underlying elaborate petal development and specialized character formation. In addition to the identification of genes and programs that are specifically/preferentially expressed in petals, we found genes and programs that are required for elaborate rather than simple petal development. By correlating the changes in gene expression with those in petal development, we identified 30 genes that are responsible for the marginal/ventral elaboration of petals and the initiation of several highly specialized morphological characters (e.g., pseudonectaries, long hairs, and short trichomes). Expression and functional analyses further confirmed that a class I homeodomain-leucine zipper family transcription factor gene, Nigella damascena LATE MERISTEM IDENTITY1 (NidaLMI1), plays important roles in the development of short trichomes and bifurcation of the lower lip. Our results not only provide the first portrait of elaborate petal development but also pave the way to understanding the mechanisms underlying lateral organ diversification in plants.