Co-option of SHOOT MERISTEMLESS network regulates protocorm-like-body development in Phalaenopsis aphroditeThe protocorm is a structure that is formed upon germination of an orchid seed. It lacks cotyledons and is ovoid in shape. Protocorm-like body (PLB), on the other hand, is a protocorm-like organ induced from somatic tissues. PLBs have been widely used for orchid micropropagation. Because of its unique structure and its application in the orchid industry, PLB development has drawn considerable interest from orchid and developmental biologists. Our previous genome-wide comparative transcriptome study demonstrated that protocorms and PLBs share similar molecular signatures and suggested that SHOOT MERISTEMLESS (STM)-dependent organogenesis is important for PLB development. Here, we show that overexpression of Phalaenopsis aphrodite STM (PaSTM) greatly enhanced PLB regeneration from vegetative tissue-based explants of Phalaenopsis orchids, confirming its regulatory role in PLB development. Expression of PaSTM restored shoot meristem function of Arabidopsis stm-2 mutant. Moreover, we identified the class S11 MYB transcription factors as new targets downstream of PaSTM. A cis-acting element, TTGACT, identified in the promoters of S11 MYB transcription factors was found to be important for PaSTM binding and activation. Overexpression of PaSTM or its downstream targets, PaMYB13, PaMYB14, or PaMYB17 enhanced de novo shoot regeneration in Arabidopsis, indicating the active role of the PaSTM-S11 PaMYB module in organogenesis. In summary, our data demonstrate that PaSTM is important for PLB development. The STM-S11 MYB regulatory module is evolutionarily conserved and may regulate shoot or shoot-related organ development in plants.
Co-researchers:Jhun-Chen Chen, Pou-Yi Chang, Hsiang-Yin Lin