Submitted to: Plant and Animal Genome Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/16/2005
Publication Date: 1/9/2006
Citation: Singh, M., Burson, B.L., Finlayson, S.A. 2006. Identification of genes differentially expressed during apomictic and sexual development in buffelgrass (Pennisetum ciliare) [abstract]. In: Proceedings of Plant and Animal Genome XIV Conference, January 14-18, 2006, San Diego, California. Paper No. W269.
Technical Abstract: Apomixis, an asexual method of reproduction through seeds with the absence of meiosis and fertilization holds great potential for plant breeding and hybrid seed production. Buffelgrass, an apomictic forage grass, has well characterized apomictic, facultative and sexual accessions to study apomictic development. To study the comparative gene expression during apomictic development we constructed and screened subtracted cDNA libraries from apomictic and sexual ovaries of buffelgrass. Two ovary-specific cDNAs, Pca21 and Pca24, were identified from these libraries that exhibit differential expression between the apomictic and sexual genotypes. The maximum expression of both these genes is associated with sporogenesis stage of female gametophyte development. Sequence analysis showed that these cDNAs represent novel genes that have not been previously characterized. RNA blot analysis showed that Pca24 is an apomictic ovary-specific gene which is not expressed in sexual ovaries, anthers and other vegetative tissues. Pca21 is also preferentially expressed in the apomictic ovaries although a low level of expression is detected in the sexual genotypes. These two genes are being further characterized and their expression is being studied at the cellular level. Results of sequence and expression analyses and the potential role in apomictic development of these two genes will be presented.