Plant physiology, December 2013, Vol.163(4), pp.1640-59
In apomictic Boechera spp., meiotic diplospory leads to the circumvention of meiosis and the suppression of recombination to produce unreduced male and female gametes (i.e. apomeiosis). Here, we have established an early flower developmental staging system and have performed microarray-based comparative gene expression analyses of the pollen mother cell stage in seven diploid sexual and seven diploid apomictic genotypes to identify candidate factors for unreduced pollen formation. We identified a transcript unique to apomictic Boechera spp. called UPGRADE2 (BspUPG2), which is highly up-regulated in their pollen mother cells. BspUPG2 is highly conserved among apomictic Boechera spp. genotypes but has no homolog in sexual Boechera spp. or in any other taxa. BspUPG2 undergoes posttranscriptional processing but lacks a prominent open reading frame. Together with the potential of stably forming microRNA-like secondary structures, we hypothesize that BspUPG2 functions as a long regulatory noncoding messenger RNA-like RNA. BspUPG2 has apparently arisen through a three-step process initiated by ancestral gene duplication of the original BspUPG1 locus, followed by sequential insertions of segmentally duplicated gene fragments, with final exonization of its sequence structure. Its genesis reflects the hybridization history that characterizes the genus Boechera.
Conserved Sequence ; Apomixis -- Genetics ; Brassicaceae -- Genetics ; Plant Proteins -- Genetics ; Pollen -- Genetics
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