Alternanthera philoxeroides is a perennial amphibious weed native to South America but has now spread to diverse parts of the world. A. philoxeroides reproduces both sexually and asexually in its native range, but propagates solely through vegetative means in its introduced range. Traits associated with sexual reproduction become degraded for sexual dysfunction, with flowers possessing either pistillate stamens or male-sterile anthers. Degradations of sexual characters for loss of sexuality commonly take place in clonal plants. The underlying molecular-genetic processes remain largely unknown. We compared the gene expression profiles of abnormal stamens with that of normal stamens by RNA-Seq analysis, and identified a large number of differentially expressed genes between abnormal and normal stamens. In accordance with flower morphology, the expression of B-class MADS-box genes (ApAP3, ApTM6, and ApPI) was markedly reduced in pistillate stamens. However, most of the genes involved in meiosis were expressed normally in stamens with male-sterile anthers. In addition to verifying the expression patterns of genes previously known to be related to stamen and pollen grain development, we also identified previously unknown molecular phenotypes associated with sexual dysfunction in A. philoxeroides, that is helpful for dissecting the molecular mechanisms underpinning variousmale-sterile phenotypes and the molecular processes underlying the transition from sexuality to asexuality in clonal plants.
Zhu, Z., Zhou, C., & Yang, J. (2015). Molecular phenotypes associated with anomalous stamen development in Alternanthera philoxeroides. Frontiers in Plant Science, 6. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2015.00242