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A cucurbit androecy gene reveals how unisexual flowers develop and dioecy emerges.

Authors
  • Boualem, Adnane1
  • Troadec, Christelle1
  • Camps, Céline1
  • Lemhemdi, Afef1
  • Morin, Halima1
  • Sari, Marie-Agnes2
  • Fraenkel-Zagouri, Rina3
  • Kovalski, Irina3
  • Dogimont, Catherine4
  • Perl-Treves, Rafael3
  • Bendahmane, Abdelhafid5
  • 1 Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), Institute of Plant Sciences Paris-Saclay, CNRS, Université Paris-Sud, Université d'Evry, Université Paris-Diderot, Bâtiment 630, 91405, Orsay, France. , (France)
  • 2 Laboratoire de Chimie et Biochimie Pharmacologiques et Toxicologiques, CNRS, UMR 8601, Université René Descartes, Paris, France. , (France)
  • 3 The Mina and Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel. , (Israel)
  • 4 INRA, UR 1052, Unité de Génétique et d'Amélioration des Fruits et Légumes, BP 94, F-84143 Montfavet, France. , (France)
  • 5 Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), Institute of Plant Sciences Paris-Saclay, CNRS, Université Paris-Sud, Université d'Evry, Université Paris-Diderot, Bâtiment 630, 91405, Orsay, France. [email protected] , (France)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Science
Publisher
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
Publication Date
Nov 06, 2015
Volume
350
Issue
6261
Pages
688–691
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1126/science.aac8370
PMID: 26542573
Source
Medline
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Understanding the evolution of sex determination in plants requires identifying the mechanisms underlying the transition from monoecious plants, where male and female flowers coexist, to unisexual individuals found in dioecious species. We show that in melon and cucumber, the androecy gene controls female flower development and encodes a limiting enzyme of ethylene biosynthesis, ACS11. ACS11 is expressed in phloem cells connected to flowers programmed to become female, and ACS11 loss-of-function mutants lead to male plants (androecy). CmACS11 represses the expression of the male promoting gene CmWIP1 to control the development and the coexistence of male and female flowers in monoecious species. Because monoecy can lead to dioecy, we show how a combination of alleles of CmACS11 and CmWIP1 can create artificial dioecy. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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