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Characterization of genes involved in sugarcane flower development

Grant number: 00/07432-3
Support type:Genome Research Grants
Duration: August 01, 2000 - July 31, 2002
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics
Principal Investigator:Marcelo Carnier Dornelas
Grantee:Marcelo Carnier Dornelas
Home Institution: Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil


As a data-mining laboratory, our goal has been to identify and annotate sugarcane related to the reproductive development (induction of inflorescence meristem formation and flower development). We have searched the SUCEST database for nucleotide and amino acid sequence similarities with genes consistently related to the flowering processes. On that purpose, the BLAST algorithm was used, together with keyword searches. We have identified and annotated more than 200 sugarcane EST clusters that showed significant (mean e-value < e-50) similarity to published plant genes related to flowering. These sequence comparisons have uncovered conserved evolutionary pathways of flower development and flower pattern formation between dicots and monocots, as well as among grass species. We have paid special attention to the analysis of the MADS-box multigene family of transcription factors that together with the APETALA2 (AP2) family are the key elements of the transcriptional networks controlling plant reproductive development. Using this approach we were able to make considerations on the evolutionary developmental genetics of grass flowers and their relation to the ABC model of dicot flower development. In parallel to the sequence analysis, we have started to define microscopy protocols for the analysis of sugarcane morphology and anatomy. This has provided background for our ongoing experiments of gene expression localization using in situ hybridization techniques and for another research project of ours recently approved for ding by FAPESP (nº 00/15071-0). (AU)

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