Evolution of the KANADI gene family and leaf development in lycophytes and ferns ($) (Plants)

Plants constantly grow post embryonically through shoot and root apical meristems. Multiple transcriptional factors and other regulators fine-tune such growth. Leaf growth from the apical meristem is well studied in the model plant Arabidopsis where two main transcription factors, namely HD-ZIP III (Class III Homeodomain Leucine Zipper protein) and KANADI (GARP Family proteins), play key roles. The adaxial expression of HD-ZIP III and abaxial expression of KANADI genes help maintain leaf bilateral symmetry. Cardona et al., using phylogenetic and gene expression analysis, determined if the KANADI genes have conserved expression domains like Arabidopsis in lycophytes and ferns. Using the OneKP database and other genome databases, the authors identified KANADI orthologs in specific ferns and lycophytes. Subsequently they determined the expression of KANADI genes in the lycophyte Selaginella moellendotffii and in the fern Equisetum hyemale. They conclude that the KANADI gene expression pattern in the abaxial side is conserved in the fern but not in lycophytes. (Summary by Suresh Damodaran) Plants 10.3390/plants8090313