Conserved pleiotropy of an ancient plant homeobox gene uncovered by cis-regulatory dissection.

Hendelman, Anat, Zebell, Sophia, Rodriguez-Leal, Daniel, Dukler, Noah, Robitaille, Gina, Wu, Xuelin, Kostyun, Jamie, Tal, Lior, Wang, Peipei, Bartlett, Madelaine E, Eshed, Yuval, Efroni, Idan, Lippman, Zachary B (April 2021) Conserved pleiotropy of an ancient plant homeobox gene uncovered by cis-regulatory dissection. Cell, 184 (7). 1724-1739.e16. ISSN 0092-8674

DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2021.02.001


Divergence of gene function is a hallmark of evolution, but assessing functional divergence over deep time is not trivial. The few alleles available for cross-species studies often fail to expose the entire functional spectrum of genes, potentially obscuring deeply conserved pleiotropic roles. Here, we explore the functional divergence of WUSCHEL HOMEOBOX9 (WOX9), suggested to have species-specific roles in embryo and inflorescence development. Using a cis-regulatory editing drive system, we generate a comprehensive allelic series in tomato, which revealed hidden pleiotropic roles for WOX9. Analysis of accessible chromatin and conserved cis-regulatory sequences identifies the regions responsible for this pleiotropic activity, the functions of which are conserved in groundcherry, a tomato relative. Mimicking these alleles in Arabidopsis, distantly related to tomato and groundcherry, reveals new inflorescence phenotypes, exposing a deeply conserved pleiotropy. We suggest that targeted cis-regulatory mutations can uncover conserved gene functions and reduce undesirable effects in crop improvement.

Item Type: Paper
Subjects: organism description > plant > Arabidopsis
bioinformatics > genomics and proteomics > genetics & nucleic acid processing > DNA, RNA structure, function, modification > genes, structure and function
organism description > plant > groundcherry
organism description > plant > tomato
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL labs > Lippman lab
SWORD Depositor: CSHL Elements
Depositing User: CSHL Elements
Date: 1 April 2021
Date Deposited: 06 May 2021 16:16
Last Modified: 06 May 2021 16:16

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