Gynoecium size and ovule number are interconnected traits that impact seed yield  | Plant and Seed Biology |

Authors: Mara Cucinotta, Maurizio Di Marzo, Andrea Guazzotti, Stefan de Folter, Martin M. Kater and Lucia Colombo.


Journal of Experimental Botany (2020)


Abstract: "Angiosperms form the largest group of land plants and display an astonishing diversity of floral structures. The development of flowers greatly contributed to the evolutionary success of the angiosperms as they guarantee efficient reproduction with the help of either biotic or abiotic vectors. The female reproductive part of the flower is the gynoecium (also called pistil). Ovules arise from meristematic tissue within the gynoecium. Upon fertilization, these ovules develop into seeds while the gynoecium turns into a fruit. Gene regulatory networks involving transcription factors and hormonal communication regulate ovule primordium initiation, spacing on the placenta, and development. Ovule number and gynoecium size are usually correlated and several genetic factors that impact these traits have been identified. Understanding and fine-tuning the gene regulatory networks influencing ovule number and pistil length open up strategies for crop yield improvement, which is pivotal in light of a rapidly growing world population. In this review, we present an overview of the current knowledge of the genes and hormones involved in determining ovule number and gynoecium size. We propose a model for the gene regulatory network that guides the developmental processes that determine seed yield."