"Seed development is a complex process that requires the coordination in growth and development of the integuments, the embryo and the endosperm. The roles of integuments in seed development as well as the cross talk between the maternal tissues (the integuments) and the fertilization products (the embryo and the endosperm) represent intriguing arguments since many years.
MADS-box genes have been thought to be involved in development and identity determination processes. However, there is scanty information regarding their roles in seed development. Recently it has been shown that MADS box factors like SEP3 and AP1, regulate the expression of genes controlling metabolism as well as cell elongation and proliferation. Recently the host lab has demonstrated that the MADS box transcription factor STK, besides being involved in different aspects of ovule and seed development is also controlling the expression of genes involved in polysaccharides and flavonoid metabolic pathways. STK forms a multimeric complex with other MADS-box proteins. Two of them, GOA and ABS are also involved in seeds development.
Based on these results, the aim of this proposal is to employ advanced techniques like RNA seq, ChIP seq and metabolomics analysis to identify molecular links between differentiation and metabolism. The stk, abs and goa single mutants will be analyzed in detail and used for metabolomic analyses. The transcriptomes of immature seeds of three single mutants will be compared with wild-type. This analysis will allow the identification of genes that are putatively regulated by the three MADS box factors. STK ChIP-seq analysis will be performed which will contribute to find new STK target genes. The overall data will allow connecting development to metabolism.
The novel proposed research will contribute to a better knowledge of the role of key regulators in the development of seeds settling the basis for further advances in quality and quantity of seed production in crops."
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