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Tissue-specific transcriptomic profiling provides new insights into the reproductive ecology and biology of the iconic seagrass species Posidonia oceanica

Journal article
Authors Laura Entrambasaguas
Marlene Jahnke
Elio Biffali
Marco Borra
Remo Sanges
Lázaro Marín-Guirao
Gabriele Procaccini
Published in Marine Genomics
Volume 35
Pages 51-61
ISSN 1874-7787
Publication year 2017
Published at
Pages 51-61
Language en
Links https://doi.org/10.1016/j.margen.20...
Keywords Flowering, Marine plants, Protogyny, RNA-seq, Sexual reproduction
Subject categories Biological Sciences

Abstract

© 2017 Elsevier B.V.Seagrasses form extensive meadows in shallow coastal waters and are among the world's most productive ecosystems. Seagrasses can produce both clonally and sexually, and flowering has long been considered infrequent, but important for maintaining genetically diverse stands. Here we investigate the molecular mechanisms involved in flowering of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica, an iconic species endemic to the Mediterranean.We generated a de novo transcriptome of this non-model species for leaf, male and female flower tissue of three individuals, and present molecular evidence for genes that may be involved in the flowering process and on the reproductive biology of the species. We present evidence that suggests that P. oceanica exhibits a strategy of protogyny, where the female part of the hermaphroditic flower develops before the male part, in order to avoid self-fertilization. We found photosynthetic genes to be up-regulated in the female flower tissues, indicating that this may be capable of photosynthesis. Finally, we detected a number of interesting genes, previously known to be involved in flowering pathways responding to light and temperature cues and in pathways involved in anthocyanin and exine synthesis. This first comparative transcriptomic approach of leaf, male and female tissue provides a basis for functional genomics research on flower development in P. oceanica and other seagrass species.

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