Abstract Detail

Time to dig: the importance of underground storage organs in plant evolution

Tribble, Carrie [1], Rothfels, Carl [2], Martinez-Gomez, Jesus [3], Alzate, Fernando [4], Specht, Chelsea [5].

Differential gene expression in tuberous vs. non-tuberous roots of the tropical monocotyledonous geophyte Bomarea multiflora (Alstroemeriaceae).

Bomarea (Alstroemeriaceae) is a tropical climbing monocot with unique underground morphology. Individuals in this genus produce aerial stems from underground rhizomes, and some roots are modified to store starch and water in distal, tuber-like structures. The root tubers of some species are edible (such as those of B. edulis) and some are used medicinally over parts of its range in tropical America. While root tubers or other modifications of the roots for storage are relatively common in monocotyledonous plants, to our knowledge no previous study has examined the genes responsible for monocot root tuber formation; previous studies of root tubers have implicated genes known to be involved in the vascular cambium, a feature not present in monocotyledons. Here, we take a comparative transcriptomics approach to characterizing the molecular mechanisms of root tuber formation in Bomarea. We extracted RNA from the growing tip of four tissue types (aerial shoot, rhizome, fibrous root, and root tuber) of three individuals of Bomarea multiflora, cultivated in controlled greenhouse conditions, and sequenced the corresponding transcriptomes in one HiSeq 4000 lane. We perform differential gene expression analysis to identify genes corresponding to development and growth patterns unique to root tubers when compared to fibrous roots and to rhizomes when compared to aerial stems. This study expands our understanding of the genetics underlying the development of underground structures in the monocots and suggests avenues for future research on the development of monocot root tubers.

1 - University Of California, Berkeley, Rothfels Lab, UC Jepson Herbarium, 1001 Valley Life Sciences Building, Berkeley, CA, 94720, United States
2 - University Of California Berkeley, University Herbarium And Departmenty Of Integrative Biology, 1001 Valley Life Science Building, Berkeley, CA, 94720, United States
3 - Cornell University
4 - Calle 67 Nš 53-108, Medellin, AA. 1226, Colombia
5 - Cornell University, Plant Biology, Ithaca, NY, 14853, USA

Root tubers

Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Number: 0003
Abstract ID:444
Candidate for Awards:Maynard F. Moseley Award

Copyright © 2000-2019, Botanical Society of America. All rights reserved