M. de Vries
- Gain and Loss of Floral Scent Production through Changes in Structural Genes during Pollinator-Mediated Speciation
- Current Biology
- Volume | Issue number
- 26 | 24
- Pages (from-to)
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS)
The interactions of plants with their pollinators are thought to be a driving force in the evolution of angiosperms. Adaptation to a new pollinator involves coordinated changes in multiple floral traits controlled by multiple genes. Surprisingly, such complex genetic shifts have happened numerous times during evolution. Here we report on the genetic basis of the changes in one such trait, floral scent emission, in the genus Petunia (Solanaceae). The increase in the quantity and complexity of the volatiles during the shift from bee to hawkmoth pollination was due to de novo expression of the genes encoding benzoic acid/salicylic acid carboxyl methyltransferase (BSMT) and benzoyl-CoA:benzylalcohol/2-phenylethanol benzoyltransferase (BPBT) together with moderately increased transcript levels for most enzymes of the phenylpropanoid/benzenoid pathway. Loss of cinnamate-CoA ligase (CNL) function as well as a reduction in the expression of the MYB transcription factor ODO1 explain the loss of scent during the transition from moth to hummingbird pollination. The CNL gene in the hummingbird-adapted species is inactive due to a stop codon, but also appears to have undergone further degradation over time. Therefore, we propose that loss of scent happened relatively early in the transition toward hummingbird pollination, and probably preceded the loss of UV-absorbing flavonols. The discovery that CNL is also involved in the loss of scent during the transition from outcrossing to selfing in Capsella (Brassicaceae) (see the accompanying paper) raises interesting questions about the possible causes of deep evolutionary conservation of the targets of evolutionary change.
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- Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. With supplemental files
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