Functional reversion to identify controlling genes in multigenic responses

Analysis of floral abortion

John S. Boyer, John McLaughlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

86 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In many situations, organisms respond to stimuli by altering the activity of large numbers of genes. Among these, certain ones are likely to control the phenotype while others play a secondary role or are passively altered without directly affecting the phenotype. Identifying the controlling genes has proven difficult. However, in a few instances, it has been possible to reverse the phenotype by physiological or biochemical means without altering the genetics of the organism. During this functional reversion, only a few genes may respond, thus identifying those likely to be controlling the phenotype. Floral abortion during a water shortage in maize is an example because the response is inherently multigenic, and the phenotype can be reversed by physiological/ biochemical means. A recent analysis used this reversal to reveal that only a few genes are likely to control the abortion phenotype. In maize, these genes coded for a cell wall invertase (Incw2), a soluble invertase (Ivr2), a ribosome-inactivating protein (RIP2), and phospholipase D (PLD1). The invertases appeared to control the normal sugar uptake by the ovaries. Their down-regulation depleted ovary sugar pools and resulted in an up-regulation of the genes for ribosome-inactivating protein and for phospholipase. The latter changes appeared to initiate senescence that degraded cell membranes, thus causing irreversible abortion. With these findings, these genes have become targets for preventing abortion. This approach might have value in other contexts with some additional methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-277
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Volume58
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007

Fingerprint

Phenotype
phenotype
beta-Fructofuranosidase
Genes
beta-fructofuranosidase
Ribosome Inactivating Proteins
genes
ribosomes
Zea mays
Ovary
sugars
Phospholipase D
phospholipase D
corn
Phospholipases
water shortages
organisms
Cell Wall
cell membranes
Up-Regulation

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science

Keywords

  • Gene expression
  • Invertase
  • Maize (Zea mays L.)
  • Ovary
  • Rice (Oryza sativa L.)
  • Sucrose
  • Transcription
  • Water deficit
  • Water shortage
  • Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)

Cite this

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abstract = "In many situations, organisms respond to stimuli by altering the activity of large numbers of genes. Among these, certain ones are likely to control the phenotype while others play a secondary role or are passively altered without directly affecting the phenotype. Identifying the controlling genes has proven difficult. However, in a few instances, it has been possible to reverse the phenotype by physiological or biochemical means without altering the genetics of the organism. During this functional reversion, only a few genes may respond, thus identifying those likely to be controlling the phenotype. Floral abortion during a water shortage in maize is an example because the response is inherently multigenic, and the phenotype can be reversed by physiological/ biochemical means. A recent analysis used this reversal to reveal that only a few genes are likely to control the abortion phenotype. In maize, these genes coded for a cell wall invertase (Incw2), a soluble invertase (Ivr2), a ribosome-inactivating protein (RIP2), and phospholipase D (PLD1). The invertases appeared to control the normal sugar uptake by the ovaries. Their down-regulation depleted ovary sugar pools and resulted in an up-regulation of the genes for ribosome-inactivating protein and for phospholipase. The latter changes appeared to initiate senescence that degraded cell membranes, thus causing irreversible abortion. With these findings, these genes have become targets for preventing abortion. This approach might have value in other contexts with some additional methods.",
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Functional reversion to identify controlling genes in multigenic responses : Analysis of floral abortion. / Boyer, John S.; McLaughlin, John.

In: Journal of Experimental Botany, Vol. 58, No. 2, 01.01.2007, p. 267-277.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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