Molecular Mechanisms of Flower Development and Plant Reproduction

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Molecular Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2024 | Viewed by 2202

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Biology, FFCLRP, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto 14040-901, SP, Brazil
Interests: plant molecular biology; plant genetics; plant sexual reproduction; plant development; flowering; flower development; gene expression; pollen-pistil interaction

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Guest Editor
Centre of Molecular and Environmental Biology (CBMA), University of Minho, Campus de Gualtar, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
Interests: plant reproduction; plant development and evo-devo; flowering; transcriptional regulation; plant genetics and genomics
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The molecular mechanisms of flower development and plant reproduction are complex and delicate processes involving the interaction of multiple genes and proteins. The gene-level regulation is central to this process, including genes that control when and how flowers develop, forming networks that coordinate flower form and function. The protein-level regulation also plays a key role, particularly transcription factors, splicing factors and signal transduction proteins, which control the expression of specific genes and transmit signals between cells and even distant parts of the plant. Additionally, environmental factors such as photoperiod, temperature and nutritional conditions affect flowering which, in many cases, occur through the production of alternatively spliced transcripts. In due course, the transition from vegetative to reproductive growth is a key stage in the plant life cycle, and it involves the conversion of the vegetative shoot apical meristem to floral meristem, which in turn leads to the development of flower organs. Compatible pollen–pistil interactions allow fertilization to occur and ultimately determine the production of fruits and seeds. These complex molecular mechanisms ensure the reproductive success of plants.

This Special Issue highlights our latest understanding of the molecular mechanisms of flower development and plant reproduction. We welcome all articles (original research, methods, opinions and reviews) on these topics.

Dr. Maria Helena S. Goldman
Dr. Maria Manuela Ribeiro Costa
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • gene expression
  • protein–protein interaction
  • transcription factor
  • splicing factor
  • environmental cues
  • alternative splicing
  • signal transduction
  • inflorescence meristem
  • flower meristem
  • flower organ development
  • pollen–pistil interaction
  • fruit development

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

20 pages, 4318 KiB  
Article
A SEPALLATA MADS-Box Transcription Factor, SlMBP21, Functions as a Negative Regulator of Flower Number and Fruit Yields in Tomato
by Jianling Zhang, Tingting Dong, Zongli Hu, Jing Li, Mingku Zhu and Guoping Chen
Plants 2024, 13(10), 1421; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13101421 - 20 May 2024
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Abstract
MADS-box transcription factors act as the crucial regulators in plant organ differentiation. Crop yields are highly influenced by the flower number and fruit growth. However, flower identification is a very complex biological process, which involves many cascade regulations. The molecular mechanisms underlying the [...] Read more.
MADS-box transcription factors act as the crucial regulators in plant organ differentiation. Crop yields are highly influenced by the flower number and fruit growth. However, flower identification is a very complex biological process, which involves many cascade regulations. The molecular mechanisms underlying the genetic regulation of flower identification in cultivated plants, such as tomato, are intricate and require further exploration. In this study, we investigated the vital function of a SEPALLATA (SEP) MADS-box gene, SlMBP21, in tomato sympodial inflorescence meristem (SIM) development for the conversion from SIMs to floral meristems (FMs). SlMBP21 transcripts were primarily accumulated in young inflorescence meristem, flowers, sepals, and abscission zones. The Ailsa Craig (AC++) tomato plants with suppressed SlMBP21 mRNA levels using RNAi exhibited a large increase in flower number and fruit yields in addition to enlarged sepals and inhibited abscission zone development. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) revealed that the maturation of inflorescence meristems (IMs) was repressed in SlMBP21-RNAi lines. RNA-seq and qRT-PCR analyses showed that numerous genes related to the flower development, plant hormone signal transduction, cell cycle, and cell proliferation et al. were dramatically changed in SlMBP21-RNAi lines. Yeast two-hybrid assay exhibited that SlMBP21 can respectively interact with SlCMB1, SFT, JOINTLESS, and MC, which play key roles in inflorescence meristems or FM development. In summary, our data demonstrate that SlMBP21 functions as a key regulator in SIM development and the conversion from SIMs to FMs, through interacting with other regulatory proteins to control the expression of related genes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Mechanisms of Flower Development and Plant Reproduction)
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19 pages, 4498 KiB  
Article
Calmodulin-Domain Protein Kinase PiCDPK1 Interacts with the 14-3-3-like Protein NtGF14 to Modulate Pollen Tube Growth
by Nolan Scheible, Paige M. Henning and Andrew G. McCubbin
Plants 2024, 13(3), 451; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13030451 - 3 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1594
Abstract
Calcium-mediated signaling pathways are known to play important roles in the polar growth of pollen tubes. The calcium-dependent protein kinase, PiCDPK1, has been shown to be involved in regulating this process through interaction with a guanine dissociation inhibitor, PiRhoGDI1. To more fully understand [...] Read more.
Calcium-mediated signaling pathways are known to play important roles in the polar growth of pollen tubes. The calcium-dependent protein kinase, PiCDPK1, has been shown to be involved in regulating this process through interaction with a guanine dissociation inhibitor, PiRhoGDI1. To more fully understand the role of PiCDPK1 in pollen tube extension, we designed a pull-down study to identify additional substrates of this kinase. These experiments identified 123 putative interactors. Two of the identified proteins were predicted to directly interact with PiCDPK1, and this possibility was investigated in planta. The first, NtGF14, a 14-3-3-like protein, did not produce a noticeable phenotype when overexpressed in pollen alone but partially rescued the spherical tube phenotype caused by PiCDPK1 over-expression when co-over-expressed with the kinase. The second, NtREN1, a GTPase activating protein (GAP), severely inhibited pollen tube germination when over-expressed, and its co-over-expression with PiCDPK1 did not substantially affect this phenotype. These results suggest a novel in vivo interaction between NtGF14 and PiCDPK1 but do not support the direct interaction between PiCDPK1 and NtREN1. We demonstrate the utility of the methodology used to identify potential protein interactions while confirming the necessity of additional studies to confirm their validity. Finally, additional support was found for intersection between PiCDPK1 and RopGTPase pathways to control polar growth at the pollen tube tip. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Mechanisms of Flower Development and Plant Reproduction)
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