The genetic and molecular analysis of trichome development in Arabidopsis thaliana has generated a detailed knowledge about the underlying regulatory genes and networks. However, how rapidly these mechanisms diverge during evolution is unknown. To address this problem, we used an unbiased forward genetic approach to identify most genes involved in trichome development in the related crucifer species Arabis alpina. In general, we found most trichome mutant classes known in A. thaliana. We identified orthologous genes of the relevant A. thaliana genes by sequence similarity and synteny and sequenced candidate genes in the A. alpina mutants. While in most cases we found a highly similar gene-phenotype relationship as known from Arabidopsis, there were also striking differences in the regulation of trichome patterning, differentiation, and morphogenesis. Our analysis of trichome patterning suggests that the formation of two classes of trichomes is regulated differentially by the homeodomain transcription factor AaGL2. Moreover, we show that overexpression of the GL3 basic helix–loop–helix transcription factor in A. alpina leads to the opposite phenotype as described in A. thaliana. Mathematical modeling helps to explain how this nonintuitive behavior can be explained by different ratios of GL3 and GL1 in the two species.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Publication status||Published - 11 Jun 2019|
- Arabis alpina
- Genetic analysis