Darwin's "Abominable Mystery": the role of RNA interference in the evolution of flowering plants

Cibrian-Jaramillo, A., Martienssen, R. A. (2009) Darwin's "Abominable Mystery": the role of RNA interference in the evolution of flowering plants. Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology, 74. pp. 267-273. ISSN 00917451 (ISSN)

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URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20508061
DOI: 10.1101/sqb.2009.74.051

Abstract

Darwin was famously concerned that the sudden appearance and rapid diversification of flowering plants in the mid-Cretaceous could not have occurred by gradual change. Here, we review our attempts to resolve the relationships among the major seed plant groups, i.e., cycads, ginkgo, conifers, gnetophytes, and flowering plants, and to provide a pipeline in which these relationships can be used as a platform for identifying genes of functional importance in plant diversification. Using complete gene sets and unigenes from 16 plant species, genes with positive partitioned Bremer support at major nodes were used to identify overrepresented gene ontology (GO) terms. Posttranscriptional silencing via RNA interference (RNAi) was overrepresented at several major nodes, including between monocots and dicots during early angiosperm divergence. One of these genes, RNA-dependent RNA polymerase 6, is required for the biogenesis of trans-acting small interfering RNA (tasiRNA), confers heteroblasty and organ polarity, and restricts maternal specification of the germline. Processing of small RNA and transfer between neighboring cells underlies these roles and may have contributed to distinct mutant phenotypes in plants, and in particular in the early split of the monocots and eudicots.

Item Type: Paper
Uncontrolled Keywords: Amino Acid Sequence Angiosperms Evolution, Molecular Genes, Plant Gymnosperms Models, Genetic Molecular Sequence Data Mutation Phenotype Phylogeny Plant Proteins Plants RNA Interference RNA Replicase RNA, Plant RNA, Small Interfering Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
Subjects: bioinformatics > genomics and proteomics > genetics & nucleic acid processing > DNA, RNA structure, function, modification
bioinformatics > genomics and proteomics > genetics & nucleic acid processing
bioinformatics > genomics and proteomics > genetics & nucleic acid processing > DNA, RNA structure, function, modification > RNAi
evolution
organism description > plant
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL labs > Martienssen lab
Depositing User: Matt Covey
Date: 2009
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2014 15:29
Last Modified: 07 Jan 2014 15:29
Related URLs:
URI: http://repository.cshl.edu/id/eprint/29186

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