Growth of petal cells is a basis for expansion and morphogenesis (outward bending) of petals during opening of carnation flowers (Dianthus caryophyllus L.). Petal growth progressed through elongation in the early stage, expansion with outward bending in the middle stage, and expansion of the whole area in the late stage of flower opening. In the present study, four cDNAs encoding xyloglucan endotransglucosylase/hydrolase (XTH) (DcXTH1-DcXTH4) and three cDNAs encoding expansin (DcEXPA1-DcEXPA3) were cloned from petals of opening carnation flowers and characterized. Real-time reverse transcription-PCR analyses showed that transcript levels of XTH and expansin genes accumulated differently in floral and vegetative tissues of carnation plants with opening flowers, indicating regulated expression of these genes. DcXTH2 and DcXTH3 transcripts were detected in large quantities in petals as compared with other tissues. DcEXPA1 and DcEXPA2 transcripts were markedly accumulated in petals of opening flowers. The action of XTH in growing petal tissues was confirmed by in situ staining of xyloglucan endotransglucosylase (XET) activity using a rhodamine-labelled xyloglucan nonasaccharide as a substrate. Based on the present findings, it is suggested that two XTH genes (DcXTH2 and DcXTH3) and two expansin genes (DcEXPA1 and DcEXPA2) are associated with petal growth and development during carnation flower opening.
- flower opening
- gene expression
- in situ XET staining
- petal cell growth
- xyloglucan endotransglycosylase/hydrolase (XTH)