The C-Terminal Sequence and PI motif of the Orchid (Oncidium Gower Ramsey) PISTILLATA (PI) Ortholog Determine its Ability to Bind AP3 Orthologs and Enter the Nucleus to Regulate Downstream Genes Controlling Petal and Stamen Formation

Wan-Ting Mao, Hsing-Fun Hsu, Wei-Han Hsu, Jen-Ying Li, Yung-I Lee, Chang-Hsien Yang
Plant & Cell Physiology 2015, 56 (11): 2079-99
This study focused on the investigation of the effects of the PI motif and C-terminus of the Oncidium Gower Ramsey MADS box gene 8 (OMADS8), a PISTILLATA (PI) ortholog, on floral organ formation. 35S::OMADS8 completely rescued and 35S::OMADS8-PI (with the PI motif deleted) partially rescued petal/stamen formation, whereas these deficiencies were not rescued by 35S::OMADS8-C (C-terminal 29 amino acids deleted) in pi-1 mutants. OMADS8 could interact with Arabidopsis APETALA3 (AP3) and enter the nucleus. The nuclear entry efficiency was reduced for OMADS8-PI/AP3 and OMADS8-C/AP3. OMADS8 could also interact with OMADS5/OMADS9 (the Oncidium AP3 ortholog) and enter the nucleus with an efficiency only slightly affected by the deletion of the C-terminal sequence or PI motif. However, the stability of the OMADS8/OMADS5 and OMADS8/OMADS9 complexes was significantly reduced by deletion of the C-terminal sequence or PI motif. Further analysis indicated that the expression of genes downstream of AP3/PI (BNQ1/BNQ2/GNC/At4g30270) was compensated by 35S::OMADS8 and 35S::OMADS8-PI to a level similar to wild-type plants but was not affected by 35S::OMADS8-C in the pi-1 mutants. A similar FRET (fluorescence resonance energy transfer) efficiency was observed for Arabidopsis AGAMOUS (AG) and the Oncidium AG ortholog OMADS4 for OMADS8, OMADS8-PI and OMADS8-C. These results indicated that the OMADS8 PI motif and C-terminus were valuable for the interaction of OMADS8 with the AP3 orthologs to form higher order heterotetrameric complexes that regulated petal/stamen formation in both Oncidium orchids and transgenic Arabidopsis. However, the C-terminal sequence and PI motif were dispensable for the interaction of OMADS8 with the AG orthologs.

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