Comprehensive transcriptomic analysis provides new insights into the mechanism of ray floret morphogenesis in chrysanthemum
Background The ray floret shapes referred to as petal types on the chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum × morifolium Ramat.) capitulum is extremely abundant, which is one of the most important ornamental traits of chrysanthemum. However, the regulatory mechanisms of different ray floret shapes are still unknown. C. vestitum is a major origin species of cultivated chrysanthemum and has flat, spoon, and tubular type of ray florets which are the three basic petal types of chrysanthemum. Therefore, it is
... ideal model material for studying ray floret morphogenesis in chrysanthemum. Here, using morphological, gene expression and transcriptomic analyses of different ray floret types of C. vestitum, we explored the developmental processes and underlying regulatory networks of ray florets. Results The formation of the flat type was due to stagnation of its dorsal petal primordium, while the petal primordium of the tubular type had an intact ring shape. Morphological differences between the two ray floret types occurred during the initial stage with vigorous cell division. Analysis of genes related to flower development showed that CYCLOIDEA genes, including CYC2b, CYC2d, CYC2e, and CYC2f, were differentially expressed in different ray floret types, while the transcriptional levels of others, such as MADS-box genes, were not significantly different. Hormone-related genes, including SMALL AUXIN UPREGULATED RNA (SAUR), GRETCHEN HAGEN3 (GH3), GIBBERELLIN 2-BETA-DIOXYGENASE 1 (GA2OX1) and APETALA2/ETHYLENE RESPONSIVE FACTOR (AP2/ERF), were identified from 1532 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in pairwise comparisons among the flat, spoon, and tubular types, with significantly higher expression in the tubular type than that in the flat type and potential involvement in the morphogenesis of different ray floret types. Conclusions Our findings, together with the gene interactional relationships reported for Arabidopsis thaliana, suggest that hormone-related genes are highly expressed in the tubular type, promoting petal cell division and leading to the formation of a complete ring of the petal primordium. These results provide novel insights into the morphological variation of ray floret of chrysanthemum.