IPS2 Abdel Team Revealed New Mechanisms of Plant Sex Determination and Regulation of Bisexual Flower Development
Published:25 Nov.2022    Source:BioArt Plant

Angiosperms usually produce bisexual flowers. In order to increase the genetic diversity of offspring, plants have evolved several systems to prevent self-fertilization, such as gender differentiation. Flower sex control is of great significance for agricultural breeding and production.

There are a lot of monoecious or dioecious species in Cucurbitaceae, so it is a good plant model to study gender differentiation. Recently, the team of Abdelhafid Bendahmane from the Institute of Plant Sciences Paris-Saclay (IPS2), published a research paper entitled "The control of carpel determinacy pathway leads to sex determination in cucurbits" in Science, revealing the mystery of sex determination and regulation of the development of bisexual flowers. Researchers isolated a female-to-male sex transition mutant in melon and identified the causal gene as the carpel identity gene CRABS CLAW (CRC). The results showed that the master regulator of sex determination in cucurbits, the transcription factor WIP1 whose expression orchestrates male flower development, recruits the corepressor TOPLESS to the CRC promoter to suppress its expression through histone deacetylation.
Following the discovery that CmWIP1 is a female determining gene in 2009, this study revealed the transcriptional and epigenetic regulation mechanisms of CmWIP1 for the first time and answered the pending question about the relationship between sex determination and classical bisexual flower development. Together with ACS ethylene synthesis gene pathway, it regulated stamen development, improving the gene regulation network of sex determination in Cucurbitaceae crops.