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B Class Floral Homeotic Genes are Involved in the Petal Identity and Flower Meristem Determinations in Chrysanthemum morifolium

Jiayou Liu, Lian Ding, Xue Zhang, Song Li, Yunxiao Guan, Diwen Jia, Aiping Song, Jiafu Jiang, Fadi Chen*
State Key Laboratory of Crop Genetics and Germplasm Enhancement, Key Laboratory of Landscaping, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Key Laboratory of Biology of Ornamental Plants in East China, National Forestry and Grassland Administration, College of Horticulture, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, 210095, China
* Corresponding Author: Fadi Chen. Email:

Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany 2023, 92(2), 311-331.

Received 17 May 2022; Accepted 20 June 2022; Issue published 12 October 2022


Chrysanthemum morifolium, an ornamental crop with diverse forms of inflorescence, is a good model for studying flower development in Asteraceae. However, the genetic background is complex and the mechanisms of regulating flower development are still unclear. Here, we identified two natural mutant lines of chrysanthemum and named them M1 and M2 according to the severity of the phenotype. Both lines showed defects in petal identity, and the petals of the M1 line had a mild phenotype: partially loss of petal identity and conversion of petals into green, leaf-like organs. The M2 line had severe phenotypes: in addition to severe petal defects, secondary inflorescences were produced in the capitulum to replace the normal ray and disc florets, which indicated a transformation of a flower meristem into an inflorescence meristem. Transcriptome sequencing of WT and M2 inflorescences was performed and found altered expression of floral organ development A, B and E class genes, where B and E class genes were significantly down-regulated. qRT-PCR analysis in both M1 and M2 lines revealed that the expression of three chrysanthemum class B genes CmAP3.1, CmAP3.2 and CmPI, was negatively correlated with phenotypic severity. This suggests that class B genes in chrysanthemum not only have conserved functions in determining petal identity but also were involved in the determinacy of the flower meristem. This study provides insights into the functions of class B genes in flower development, and is informative for dissecting the molecular mechanisms of flower development in chrysanthemum.


Chrysanthemum morifolium; flower development; RNA-seq; ABCE model; B function; determinacy of flower meristem

Cite This Article

Liu, J., Ding, L., Zhang, X., Li, S., Guan, Y. et al. (2023). B Class Floral Homeotic Genes are Involved in the Petal Identity and Flower Meristem Determinations in Chrysanthemum morifolium. Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany, 92(2), 311–331.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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