Convergent recruitment of TALE homeodomain life cycle regulators to direct sporophyte development in land plants and brown algae.

Alok ArunJ Mark Cock


Three amino acid loop extension homeodomain transcription factors (TALE HD TFs) act as life cycle regulators in green algae and land plants. In mosses these regulators are required for the deployment of the sporophyte developmental program. We demonstrate that mutations in either of two TALE HD TF genes, OUROBOROS or SAMSARA, in the brown alga Ectocarpus result in conversion of the sporophyte generation into a gametophyte. The OUROBOROS and SAMSARA proteins heterodimerise in a similar manner to TALE HD TF life cycle regulators in the green lineage. These observations demonstrate that TALE-HD-TF-based life cycle regulation systems have an extremely ancient origin, and that these systems have been independently recruited to regulate sporophyte developmental programs in at least two different complex multicellular eukaryotic supergroups, Archaeplastida and Chromalveolata.


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Datasets Mentioned


Methods Mentioned

reverse transcription PCR
protein folding

Software Mentioned

LightCycler 480
DESeq2 package
GraphPad Prism5

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