Molecular characterisation of four double-flowered mutants of Silene dioica representing four centuries of variation

Ingle, E. K. S. and Gilmartin, P. M. (2015) Molecular characterisation of four double-flowered mutants of Silene dioica representing four centuries of variation. Journal of Experimental Botany, 66 (11). pp. 3297-3307. ISSN 0022-0957

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Records of double-flowered Silene dioica date from the late sixteenth century and four named varieties are grown today, as previously, for their horticultural interest. Although double-flowered mutants have been characterized in several plants, their study in dioecious species is of particular interest due to influences of the homeotic mutation on the different floral whorl configurations in males and females. We have analysed four double-flowered varieties of Silene dioica: Flore Pleno and Rosea Plena date back to the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries, Thelma Kay and Firefly were recognized in the latter part of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. We have analysed the floral structure of the four varieties, which have distinct floral architectures. Based on Y chromosome-specific PCR analysis we show that Firefly is male and that the other three varieties are female: Random Amplification of Polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analyses suggested a common origin for the three female varieties. The double-flowered phenotype in all four varieties is caused by mutation of the C-function MADS-box transcription factor gene SDM1. We show that Firefly carries a unique 44bp insertion into SDM1, revealing an independent origin for this variety. Comparative analysis of SDM1 cDNA and genomic sequences in Flore Pleno, Rosea Plena and Thelma Kay shows that all three are caused by the same 7bp insertion within SDM1 and therefore share a common origin. The three alleles also differ by several single nucleotide polymorphisms, which represent somatic mutations accumulated over four centuries of asexual propagation.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Uncontrolled Keywords: c-function mads-box,dioecy,double-flowered,floral homeotic mutation,sex determination,silene dioica
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Science
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Plant Sciences
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2015 14:22
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2022 00:50
DOI: 10.1093/jxb/erv139


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