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Regulatory networks controlling carpel (and petal) development

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Kumari Billakurthi.

Flowers are composed of organs whose identity is defined by the combinatorial activity of transcription factors (TFs). The interactions between MADS -box TFs and protein complex formation have been schematized in the floral quartet model of flower development. The flower’s reproductive part is the gynoecium, which, in turn, is crucial for plant reproduction and fruit and seed production. After the establishment of carpel identity, many tissues arise to form a mature gynoecium. TFs have been described as regulators of gynoecium development, and some interactions and complexes have been identified. However, broad knowledge about the interactions among these TFs and their participation during development remains scarce. In this seminar, I will talk about our recent work that used a systems biology approach to understand the formation of a complex reproductive unit – as the gynoecium – by mapping binary interactions between well-characterised TFs. We analysed over 4,400 combinations and detected more than 250 protein-protein interactions (PPIs), resulting in a process-specific interaction map. We observed a close relationship between TFs involved in auxin and cytokinin signalling pathways and other TFs. Furthermore, we analysed the network by combining PPI data, expression, and genetic data, which helped us dissect it into several dynamic spatio-temporal subnetworks related to gynoecium development processes. I will also talk about the functional characterization of two interacting proteins SEEDSTICK and NO TRANSMITTING TRACT , which regulate the expression of genes encoding lipid metabolism and cell wall-related enzymes. Finally, I will describe my current research related to the formation of cuticular patterns in the petals of Hibiscus trionum flowers.

This talk is part of the Plant Sciences Departmental Seminars series.

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