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Abstract Detail

Comparative Genomics/Transcriptomics

Povilus, Rebecca [1], Friedman, William [2].

Gene expression across fertilization and seed development in the minute water lily, Nymphaea thermarum (Nymphaeales): insights on epigenetic regulation during reproduction.

Studies of gene expression during seed development have been performed for a growing collection of species from a phylogenetically broad sampling of flowering plants (angiosperms). However, attention has mostly been focused on crop species or a small number of ‘model’ taxa. Information on gene expression during seed development is minimal for those angiosperm lineages whose origins predate the divergence of monocots and eudicots. In order to provide a new perspective on the early evolution of seed development in flowering plants, we sequenced transcriptomes of whole ovules and seeds from three key stages of reproductive development in the waterlily Nymphaea thermarum, an experimentally-tractable member of the Nymphaeales. We first explore general patterns of gene expression, beginning with mature ovules and continuing through fertilization into early- and mid-stages of seed development. We then examine the expression of genes associated with DNA and histone methylation – processes known to be essential for development in distantly-related and structurally-divergent monocots and eudicots. Around 60% of transcripts putatively homologous to DNA and histone methylation modifiers are differentially expressed during seed development in N. thermarum, suggesting that dynamic epigenetic patterning during seed development dates to the earliest phases of angiosperm evolution. However, genes involved in establishing, maintaining, and removing methylation marks associated with genetic imprinting show a mix of conserved and unique expression patterns between N. thermarum and other flowering plants. Our data suggests that the regulation of imprinting has likely changed throughout angiosperm evolution, and furthermore identifies genes that merit further characterization in any angiosperm system.

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1 - Whitehead Institute, Gehring Lab, Whitehead Institute, 455 Main Street, Cambridge, MA, 02142, United States
2 - Harvard University, Arnold Arboretum, 1300 Centre St., Boston, MA, 02131, United States

seed development

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: CGT2, Comparative Genomics/Transcriptomics II
Location: /
Date: Tuesday, July 20th, 2021
Time: 1:45 PM(EDT)
Number: CGT2006
Abstract ID:874
Candidate for Awards:None

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