Genetics of Floral Development

(By Christine Fleet).

A basic model for floral organ identity has been developed using model systems such as Arabidopsis thaliana, snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus), and petunia (Petunia hybrida). In this model, different combinations of proteins known as ABCDE proteins, mostly MADS-domain transcription factors, activate the transcription of target genes to specify the identity of each whorl of floral organs. Changes in the regulation or activation of these target genes contribute to the wide variety of floral forms that we see within and across species. In addition, duplications and divergence of these
genes in different groups of flowering plants have resulted in differences in gene function and expression patterns, contributing to differences in flower form across species.  

Posted December 11, 2017.