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Preprints, Working Papers, ... (Preprint) Year : 2022

Robustness of organ morphology is associated with modules of co-expressed genes related to plant cell wall

Annamaria Kiss

Abstract

Reproducibility in organ size and shape is a fundamental trait of living organisms. The mechanisms underlying such robustness remain, however, to be elucidated. Taking the sepal of Arabidopsis as a model, we investigated whether variability of gene expression plays a role in variation of organ morphology. To address this question, we produced a dataset composed of both transcriptomic and morphological information obtained from 27 individual sepals from wild-type plants. Although nearly identical in their genetic background, environment, and developmental stage, these sepals exhibited appreciable variability in both morphology and transcriptome. We identified modules of co-expressed genes in sepals, three of which correlated significantly with morphology, revealing biologically relevant gene regulatory networks. Interestingly, cell-wall related genes were overrepresented in two of these three modules. Additionally, we found that highly variable genes were unexpectedly enriched in cell-wall related processes. We then analyzed sepal morphology from 16 cell-wall mutants and found that the more a gene is expressed in wild-type, the more variable the morphology of the corresponding mutant. Altogether, our work unravels the contribution of cell-wall related genes to the robustness of sepal morphology. More generally, we propose that canalizing traits during development could rely on the modulation of highly expressed genes.
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Dates and versions

hal-03832424 , version 1 (27-10-2022)

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Diego A Hartasánchez, Annamaria Kiss, Virginie Battu, Mathilde Dumond, Charline Soraru, et al.. Robustness of organ morphology is associated with modules of co-expressed genes related to plant cell wall. 2022. ⟨hal-03832424⟩
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