Authors: Liu, Jing; Wang, Juan-Juan; Wu, Jie; Wang, Yang; Liu, Qi; Liu, Fang-Pu; Yang, Xia; Wang, Yin-Zheng
Publication: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Year: 2021
Genera: Chirita, Henckelia

The development of an ideal model plant located at a key phylogenetic node is critically important to advance functional and regulatory studies of key regulatory genes in the evolutionary developmental (evo-devo) biology field. In this study, we selected Chirita pumila in the family Gesneriaceae, a basal group in Lamiales, as a model plant to optimize its genetic transformation system established previously by us through investigating a series of factors and further conduct functional test of the CYC-like floral symmetry gene CpCYC. By transforming a RNAi:CpCYC vector, we successfully achieved the desired phenotypes of upright actinomorphic flowers, which suggest that CpCYC actually determines the establishment of floral zygomorphy and the horizontal orientation of flowers in Cpumila. We also confirmed the activities of CpCYC promoter in dorsal petals, dorsal/lateral staminodes, as well as the pedicel by transferring a CpCYC promoter:GUS vector into Cpumila. Furthermore, we testified the availability of a transient gene expression system using Cpumila mesophyll protoplasts. The improved transformation system together with the inherent biological features would make C. pumila an attractive new model in functional and regulatory studies for a broad range of evo-devo issues.