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Altered trans-regulatory control of gene expression in multiple anthocyanin genes contributes to adaptive flower color evolution in Mimulus aurantiacus.

Publication ,  Journal Article
Streisfeld, MA; Rausher, MD
Published in: Molecular biology and evolution
February 2009

A fundamental goal in evolutionary biology is to identify the molecular changes responsible for adaptive evolution. In this study, we describe a genetic analysis to determine whether the molecular changes contributing to adaptive flower color divergence in Mimulus aurantiacus affect gene expression or enzymatic activity. High performance liquid chromatography analysis confirms that flower color differences are caused by the presence versus absence of anthocyanin pigments. Cosegregation analysis and in vitro enzymatic assays rule out mutations that affect enzymatic function in the anthocyanin pathway genes. By contrast, cosegregation of gene expression with flower color suggests that tissue-specific differences in pigment production are caused by the coordinated regulatory control of three anthocyanin pathway genes. We provide evidence indicating that these expression differences are caused by a locus that acts in trans- and explains 45% of the phenotypic variance in flower color. A second locus with sequence similarity to the R2R3 MYB family of transcription factors explains 9% of the variation but does so in a complex fashion. These results demonstrate one of only two examples where we have clear evidence of both the adaptive nature of a flower color transition and evidence for its genetic basis. In both cases, mutations appear to affect expression of the anthocyanin structural genes. Future studies will allow us to determine whether these differences represent a real bias in favor of mutations that affect gene expression.

Duke Scholars

Published In

Molecular biology and evolution

DOI

EISSN

1537-1719

ISSN

0737-4038

Publication Date

February 2009

Volume

26

Issue

2

Start / End Page

433 / 444

Related Subject Headings

  • Transcription Factors
  • Plant Proteins
  • Pigmentation
  • Mimulus
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Flowers
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Biological Evolution
  • Anthocyanins
 

Citation

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Streisfeld, M. A., & Rausher, M. D. (2009). Altered trans-regulatory control of gene expression in multiple anthocyanin genes contributes to adaptive flower color evolution in Mimulus aurantiacus. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 26(2), 433–444. https://doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msn268
Streisfeld, Matthew A., and Mark D. Rausher. “Altered trans-regulatory control of gene expression in multiple anthocyanin genes contributes to adaptive flower color evolution in Mimulus aurantiacus.Molecular Biology and Evolution 26, no. 2 (February 2009): 433–44. https://doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msn268.
Streisfeld, Matthew A., and Mark D. Rausher. “Altered trans-regulatory control of gene expression in multiple anthocyanin genes contributes to adaptive flower color evolution in Mimulus aurantiacus.Molecular Biology and Evolution, vol. 26, no. 2, Feb. 2009, pp. 433–44. Epmc, doi:10.1093/molbev/msn268.
Journal cover image

Published In

Molecular biology and evolution

DOI

EISSN

1537-1719

ISSN

0737-4038

Publication Date

February 2009

Volume

26

Issue

2

Start / End Page

433 / 444

Related Subject Headings

  • Transcription Factors
  • Plant Proteins
  • Pigmentation
  • Mimulus
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Flowers
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Biological Evolution
  • Anthocyanins