Background: In flowering plants a number of genes have been identified which control the transition from a vegetative to generative phase of life cycle. In bryophytes representing basal lineage of land plants, there is little data regarding the mechanisms that control this transition. Two species from bryophytes - moss Physcomitrella patens and liverwort Marchantia polymorpha are under advanced molecular and genetic research. The goal of our study was to identify genes connected to female gametop hyte development and archegonia production in the dioecious liverwort Pellia endiviifolia species B, which is representative of the most basal lineage of the simple thalloid liverworts.Results: The utility of the RDA-cDNA technique allowed us to identify three genes specifically expressed in the female individuals of P.endiviifolia: PenB_CYSP coding for cysteine protease, PenB_MT2 and PenB_MT3 coding for Mysterious Transcripts1 and 2 containing ORFs of 143 and 177 amino acid residues in length, respectively. The exon-intron structure of all three genes has been characterized and pre-mRNA processing was investigated. Interestingly, five mRNA isoforms are produced from the PenB_MT2 gene, which result from alternative splicing within the second and third exon. All observed splicing events take place within the 5′UTR and do not interfere with the coding sequence. All three genes are exclusively expressed in the female individuals, regardless of whether they were cultured in vitro or were collected from a natural habitat. Moreover we observed ten-fold increased transcripts level for all three genes in the archegonial tissue in comparison to the vegetative parts of the same female thalli grown in natural habitat suggesting their connection to archegonia development.Conclusions: We have identified three genes which are specifically expressed in P.endiviifolia sp B female gametophytes. Moreover, their expression is connected to the female sex-organ differentiation and is developmentally regulated. The contribution of the identified genes may be crucial for successful liverwort sexual reproduction. © 2014 Sierocka et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Sierocka, I., Kozlowski, L. P., Bujnicki, J. M., Jarmolowski, A., & Szweykowska-Kulinska, Z. (2014). Female-specific gene expression in dioecious liverwort Pellia endiviifolia is developmentally regulated and connected to archegonia production. BMC Plant Biology, 14(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2229-14-168