Apr 7, 2020

Gamete-specific expression of TALE class HD genes activates the diploid sporophyte program in Marchantia polymorpha

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
T. DierschkeJohn L Bowman


Eukaryotic life cycles alternate between haploid and diploid phases and in phylogenetically diverse unicellular eukaryotes, expression of paralogous homeodomain genes in the two gametes directs the haploid-to-diploid transition. In the unicellular Chlorophyte alga Chlamydomonas KNOX and BELL TALE-homeodomain genes mediate the transition. Here we demonstrate that in the liverwort Marchantia polymorpha paternal (sperm) expression three of the five phylogenetically diverse BELL genes, MpBELL234, and maternal (egg) expression of MpKNOX1 mediate the haploid-to-diploid transition. Loss-of-function alleles of either result in zygotic or early embryonic arrest. In land plants both the haploid gametophyte and diploid sporophyte are complex multicellular organisms. Expression of MpKNOX1 and two other paralogs, MpBELL1 and MpKNOX2, during sporophyte development is consistent with a later role in patterning the sporophyte. These results indicate that the ancestral mechanism to activate diploid gene expression was retained in early diverging land plants and subsequently co-opted during evolution of the diploid sporophyte body.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Scientific Study
Caenorhabditis elegans
1-methyl-1-piperidinomethane sulfonate

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