The ovules and egg cells are well developed to be fertilized at anthesis in many flowering plants. However, ovule development is triggered by pollination in most orchids. In this study, we characterized the function of a Bsister gene, named PeMADS28, isolated from Phalaenopsis equestris, the genome-sequenced orchid. Spatial and temporal expression analysis showed PeMADS28 predominantly expressed in ovules between 32 and 48 days after pollination, which synchronizes with integument development. Subcellular localization and protein–protein interaction analyses revealed that PeMADS28 could form a homodimer as well as heterodimers with D-class and E-class MADS-box proteins. In addition, ectopic expression of PeMADS28 in Arabidopsis thaliana induced small curled rosette leaves, short silique length and few seeds, similar to that with overexpression of other species’ Bsister genes in Arabidopsis. Furthermore, complementation test revealed that PeMADS28 could rescue the phenotype of the ABS/TT16 mutant. Together, these results indicate the conserved function of BsisterPeMADS28 associated with ovule integument development in orchid.
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