Somatic polyploidy and its consequences for flower coloration and flower morphology in azalea

Sandra De Schepper, Leen Leus, Marleen Mertens, Pierre Debergh, Erik Van Bockstaele, Marc De Loose

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan tijdschriftA1: Web of Science-artikelpeer review


Flower colour variegation is not only a phenomenon of importance to horticulture, the phenotype involved is also often used as a scientific model system for the study of complex gene regulation processes. In the course of such studies on azalea, we observed a correlation between flower colour patterns, flower morphology and somatic polyploidy. Using high-resolution flow cytometry of nuclear DNA, the ploidy level was determined in flowers of different azalea sport families. Sports exhibiting variegated flowers with broad (>7 mm), differently coloured, petal edges (picotee type) proved to be tetraploid in the petal edge but diploid in the rest of the flower tissue. Neither flower colour pattern nor ploidy differences are periclinal chimeric in origin, but seem to be correlated with the topographic location of the cells within the flower tissue, i.e. the margin of the petals. The possible role of gene dosage effects and cell size involved in the remarkable correlation between somatic polyploidy, (flavonoid) gene expression and flower morphology is discussed.
Oorspronkelijke taalEngels
TijdschriftPlant Cell Reports
Pagina's (van-tot)583-590
PublicatiestatusGepubliceerd - 2001

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