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Unraveling the role of MADS transcription factor complexes in apple tree dormancy

Abstract : Background The effect of global warming on dormancy and flowering patterns of crop trees threatens world-wide fruit production and food security. In Rosaceous tree species, it is believed that a group of genes encoding MADS transcription factors (TFs) controls temperature-mediated dormancy cycle. These genes are similar to SHORT VEGETATIVE PHASE (SVP) from Arabidopsis thaliana and referred as DORMANCY-ASSOCIATED MADS-BOX (DAM) genes. Results By making use of apple tree (Malus x domestica) as a model for Rosaceous species, we have investigated the function of MADS TFs during the dormancy cycle. We found that MdDAM and other dormancy related MADS TFs form multimeric complexes with MdSVPa, and that MdSVPa is essential for the transcriptional complex activity. Then, for the first time in non-model plant species, we performed sequential DNA Affinity Purification sequencing (seq-DAP-seq) to define the genome-wide binding sites of these MADS TF complexes. Target genes associated with the binding sites were identified by combining seq-DAP-seq data with transcriptomics datasets obtained by the inducible glucocorticoid receptor expression system, and reanalyzing preexisting data related to dormancy cycle in apple trees. Conclusion We have determined a gene regulatory network formed by MdSVPa-containing complexes that regulate the dormancy cycle in apple trees in response to environmental cues. Key genes identified with our genomic approach and the elucidated regulatory relationships provide leads for breeding fruit trees better adapted to changing climate conditions. Moreover, we provide novel molecular evidence on the evolutionary functional segregation between DAM and SVP proteins in the Rosaceae family.
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Contributor : Fernando Andres Lalaguna <>
Submitted on : Thursday, September 9, 2021 - 9:34:56 AM
Last modification on : Saturday, September 11, 2021 - 3:38:16 AM


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Vítor da Silveira Falavigna, Edouard Severing, Xuelei Lai, Joan Estevan, Isabelle Farrera, et al.. Unraveling the role of MADS transcription factor complexes in apple tree dormancy. New Phytologist, Wiley, 2021, ⟨10.1111/nph.17710⟩. ⟨hal-03338801⟩



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