J Syst Evol ›› 2014, Vol. 52 ›› Issue (4): 397-410.DOI: 10.1111/jse.12010

• Reviews •     Next Articles

Evolution and function of MADS-box genes involved in orchid floral development

1,2Wen-Chieh Tsai* 3Zhao-Jun Pan 2,3Yu-Yun HSIAO 4Li-Jun CHEN 4,5,6Zhong-Jian LIU*   

  1. 1(Institute of Tropical Plant Sciences, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan, China)
    2(Orchid Research Center, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan, China)
    3(Department of Life Sciences, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan, China)
    4(Shenzhen Key Laboratory for Orchid Conservation and Utilization, National Orchid Conservation Center of China and Orchid Conservation & Research Center of Shenzhen, Shenzhen 518114, China)
    5(The Center for Biotechnology and BioMedicine, Graduate School at Shenzhen, Tsinghua University, Shenzhen 518055, China)
    6(College of Forestry, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, China)
  • Received:2012-10-08 Published:2014-07-10

Abstract: Orchids are known for their beauty and complexity of flower and ecological strategies. The evolution in orchid floral morphology, structure, and physiological properties has held the fascination of botanists for centuries, from Darwin through to the present. In floral studies, MADS-box genes contributing to the now famous ABCDE model of floral organ identity control have dominated conceptual thinking. The sophisticated orchid floral organization offers an opportunity to discover new variant genes and different levels of complexity to the ABCDE model. Recently, several remarkable research reports on orchid MADS-box genes, especially B-class MADS-box genes, have revealed the evolutionary track and important functions on orchid floral development. Diversification and fixation of both paleoAP3 gene sequences and expression profiles might be explained by subfunctionalization and even neofunctionalization. Knowledge about MADS-box genes encoding ABCDE functions in orchids will give insights into the highly evolved floral morphogenetic networks of orchids.

Key words: ABCDE model, floral development, floral morphogenetic networks, MADS-box genes, orchids.