c8.7.7 – The genus Populus: A model system for studying the evolution of gender determination in plants

Sabatti M*, Harfouche A, Gaudet M, Scarascia Mugnozza G

Collocazione: c8.7.7 – Tipo Comunicazione: Presentazione orale
8° Congresso SISEF *
Sessione 7: “Biodiversità e Risorse genetiche forestali” *

Contatto: Maurizio Sabatti (sabatti@unitus.it)

Abstract: Dissecting the genetic mechanisms underlying gender determination in the genus Populus will help resolve tough evolutionary, developmental and economic questions. Dioecy, the separation of male and female sexes in different individuals, is a very useful property to study gender determination in plants. The genus Populus is generally considered as dioecious, yet, bisexual trees have been widely reported. Though little is known about the genetic mechanisms of sex determination in Populus, genetic linkage mapping studies have started to reveal new insights into the genetic control of gender determination, with chromosome XIX marking an incipient sex chromosome evolution. The genus Populus is an excellent model system for studying the genetic and epigenetic factors that are involved in sex-determining processes in plants. Here, we have embarked in an integrated genomics approach to deciphering the genetic basis of sex determination in Populus. Based on various Populus species, we suggest that gender determination systems may vary among species. Although genetic mapping studies of chromosomal regions that determine sex development is a promising approach, data on pedigrees are increasingly needed. A P. x canescens pedigree obtained in 1998 was carefully monitored for sex expression for the last 6 years. We found a significant labile sex expression. This cross revealed that bisexuality in poplar seems to proceed during time and showed segregating ratio of males, females and a significant number of bisexual trees. This allows carrying out repetitive studies to monitor changes over time. Interestingly, the male parent may probably confer the bisexual tree trait. Such studies raise many new questions to be answered by further work.

Parole chiave: Gender Determination, Sex Chromosome, Sex Expression, Dioecy, Inkage Map, Populus

Citazione: Sabatti M, Harfouche A, Gaudet M, Scarascia Mugnozza G (2011). The genus Populus: A model system for studying the evolution of gender determination in plants . 8° Congresso Nazionale SISEF, Rende (CS), 04 – 07 Ott 2011, Contributo no. #c8.7.7