Gene expression associated with apogamy commitment in Ceratopteris richardii
- First Online:
- Cite this article as:
- Cordle, A.R., Irish, E.E. & Cheng, C. Sex Plant Reprod (2012) 25: 293. doi:10.1007/s00497-012-0198-z
Apogamy is a phenomenon in which a sporophyte develops asexually, directly from a cell or cells of a gametophyte. It is a phenomenon described mainly in lower plants, but shares certain aspects with apomixis in angiosperms. The genes involved in apogamy commitment in ferns are unknown. We hypothesize that the mechanism of asexual reproduction is controlled in lower and higher plants by overlapping sets of genes. To this end, we created a normalized subtracted cDNA library that represents genes with increased expression during apogamy commitment in the fern Ceratopteris richardii. The cDNA library consists of 170 unique sequences. Compared to the mature gametophyte transcriptome of the fern Pteridium aquilinum, the apogamy library is enriched in plant GO-Slim terms that are associated with stress and metabolism. In silico expression analyses of the closest Arabidopsis homologs of the apogamy library revealed many genes that display preferential expression in seed and flower tissues, structures that are absent in ferns. This apogamy library provides a rich resource for investigations into the genetic control of apogamy in ferns and comparisons with the asexual processes of higher plants.