Saintpaulia ionantha H. Wendl (synonym Streptocarpus ionanthus) has been considered an ornamental plant. The PHANTASTICA (PHAN) gene has a significant role in the formation of plant organs adaxial–abaxial polarity. In the present study the PHAN gene was identified in Saintpaulia for the first time using PCR. To determine the expression pattern of the PHAN gene, gene expression was compared at 3 developmental stages using real time PCR. For in silico analyses, protein characteristics, secondary and 3D structures of protein, intracellular localization, and the phylogenetic tree were investigated using bioinformatics tools. The partial CDS of PHAN gene contained 756 nucleotides, a predicted protein encoded with 252 amino acids with a molecular weight of 28,474 Da. The presence of the HTH MYB-type motif in this sequence indicated that the PHAN protein belonged to the MYB family. The secondary structure of the PHAN protein was composed of 45% α-helix. The predicted PHAN protein 3D structure revealed that this protein can bind to nucleic acids. The binding site sequence included amino acids 10(R), 12(W), 13(H), 66(W), and 67(K). The intracellular localization of PHAN protein is believed to be in the nucleus. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that species belonging to each family were grouped in same clade. Gene expression revealed that in the later stages of petal development, expression was reduced. The results suggest that the expression pattern of the PHAN gene is that of adaxial–abaxial symmetry initiation during petal development as well as in the leaves of Saintpaulia. It appears that genetic engineering using biotechnology would be beneficial for improving the ornamental value of Saintpaulia.
Identification and in silico analysis of PHANTASTICA gene in Saintpaulia ionantha H. Wendl (Gesneriaceae)
Publication: Turkish Journal of Botany