One of the well-known floral abnormalities in flowering plants is the double-flower phenotype, which corresponds to flowers that develop extra petals, sometimes even containing entire flowers within flowers. Because of their highly priced ornamental value, spontaneous double-flower variants have been found and selected for in a wide range of ornamental species. Previously, double flower formation in roses was associated with a restriction of AGAMOUS expression domain toward the centre of the meristem, leading to extra petals. Here, we characterized the genomic region containing the mutation associated with the switch from simple to double flowers in the rose. An APETALA2-like gene (RcAP2L), a member of the Target Of EAT-type (TOE-type) subfamily, lies within this interval. In the double flower rose, two alleles of RcAP2L are present, one of which harbours a transposable element inserted into intron 8. This insertion leads to the creation of a miR172 resistant RcAP2L variant. Analyses of the presence of this variant in a set of simple and double flower roses demonstrate a correlation between the presence of this allele and the double flower phenotype. These data suggest a role of this miR172 resistant RcAP2L variant in regulating RcAGAMOUS expression and double flower formation in Rosa sp.
Journal: Scientific reports