Interactions between WUSCHEL- and CYC2-like Transcription Factors in Regulating the Development of Reproductive Organs in Chrysanthemum morifolium.


Beijing Key Laboratory of Ornamental Plants Germplasm Innovation & Molecular Breeding, National Engineering Research Center for Floriculture, Beijing Laboratory of Urban and Rural Ecological Environment, Engineering Research Center of Landscape Environment of Ministry of Education, Key Laboratory of Genetics and Breeding in Forest Trees and Ornamental Plants of Ministry of Education, School of Landscape Architecture, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China. [Email]


Chrysanthemum morifolium is a gynomonoecious plant that bears both female zygomorphic ray florets and bisexual actinomorphic disc florets in the inflorescence. This sexual system is quite prevalent in Asteraceae, but poorly understood. CYCLOIDEA (CYC) 2 subclade transcription factors, key regulators of flower symmetry and floret identity in Asteraceae, have also been speculated to function in reproductive organs and could be an entry point for studying gynomonoecy. However, the molecular mechanism is still unclear. On the other hand, the Arabidopsis WUSCHEL (WUS) transcription factor has been proven to play a vital role in the development of reproductive organs. Here, a WUS homologue (CmWUS) in C. morifolium was isolated and characterized. Overexpression of CmWUS in A. thaliana led to shorter siliques and fewer stamens, which was similar to CYC2-like genes reported before. In addition, both CmWUS and CmCYC2 were highly expressed in flower buds during floral organ differentiation and in the reproductive organs at later development stages, indicating their involvement in the development of reproductive organs. Moreover, CmWUS could directly interact with CmCYC2d. Thus, our data suggest a collaboration between CmWUS and CmCYC2 in the regulation of reproductive organ development in chrysanthemum and will contribute to a further understanding of the gynomonoecious sexual system in Asteraceae.


CYC2,Chrysanthemum morifolium,WUS,flower symmetry,gynomonoecy,reproductive organ,