Orchidaceae are an excellent model to examine perianth development because of their sophisticated floral architecture. In this study, we identified 24 APETALA3 (AP3)-like and 13 PISTILLA (PI)-like genes from 11 species of orchids and characterized them into four AP3-and two PI-duplicated homologs. The first duplication event in AP3 homologs occurring in the early evolutionary history of the Orchidaceae gave rise to AP3A and AP3B clades. Further duplication events resulted in four subclades, namely AP3A1, AP3A2, AP3B1 and AP3B2, during the evolution of Orchidaceae. The AP3 paralogous genes were expressed throughout inflorescence and floral bud development. From the in situ hybridization results, we noticed that the transition timings from ubiquitous to constrained expression in floral organs for both clades are different. The transition point of expression of the AP3A clade (clades 3 and 4) was at the late floral organ primordia stage. In contrast, that for the AP3B clade (clades 1 and 2) was not observed until the late inflorescence and floral bud stages. In addition, the AP3 orthologous genes revealed diverse expression patterns in various species of orchids, whereas the PI homologs were uniformly expressed in all floral whorls. AP3A2 orthologs play a noticeable role in lip formation because of their exclusive expression in the lip. Further evidence comes from the ectopic expression of AP3A2 detected in the lip-like petals extending from the lip in four sets of peloric mutants. Finally, a Homeotic Orchid Tepal (HOT) model is proposed, in which dualistic characters of duplicated B-class MADS-box genes are involved in orchid perianth development and growth.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science
- Cell Biology