The rice StMADS11-like genes OsMADS22 and OsMADS47 cause floral reversions in Arabidopsis without complementing the svp and agl24 mutants

Fabio Fornara, Veronica Gregis, Nilla Pelucchi, Lucia Colombo, Martin Kater
Journal of Experimental Botany 2008, 59 (8): 2181-90
During floral induction and flower development plants undergo delicate phase changes which are under tight molecular control. MADS-box transcription factors have been shown to play pivotal roles during these transition phases. SHORT VEGETATIVE PHASE (SVP) and AGAMOUS LIKE 24 (AGL24) are important regulators both during the transition to flowering and during flower development. During vegetative growth they exert opposite roles on floral transition, acting as repressor and promoter of flowering, respectively. Later during flower development they act redundantly as negative regulators of AG expression. In rice, the orthologues of SVP and AGL24 are OsMADS22, OsMADS47, and OsMADS55 and these three genes are involved in the negative regulation of brassinosteroid responses. In order to understand whether these rice genes have maintained the ability to function as regulators of flowering time in Arabidopsis, complementation tests were performed by expressing OsMADS22 and OsMADS47 in the svp and agl24 mutants. The results show that the rice genes are not able to complement the flowering-time phenotype of the Arabidopsis mutants, indicating that they are biologically inactive in Arabidopsis. Nevertheless, they cause floral reversions, which mimic the SVP and AGL24 floral overexpressor phenotypes. Yeast two-hybrid analysis suggests that these floral phenotypes are probably the consequence of protein interactions between OsMADS22 and OsMADS47 and other MADS-box proteins which interfere with the formation of complexes required for normal flower development.

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