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Promotor insertion leads to polyembryony in mango – a case of convergent evolution with citrus

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Yadav, C. B., Rozen, A., Eshed, R., Ish-Shalom, M., Feinganbaum, A., Dillon, N. L., Bally, I. S.E., Webb, M., Kuhn, D., Ophir, R., Cohen, Y. and Sherman, A. (2023) Promotor insertion leads to polyembryony in mango – a case of convergent evolution with citrus. Horticulture Research, 10 (12), uhad227. ISSN 2662-6810

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Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1093/hr/uhad227


Sexual reproduction in plants is the main pathway for creating new genetic combinations in modern agriculture. In heterozygous plants, after the identification of a plant with desired traits, vegetative propagation (cloning) is the primary path to create genetically uniform plants. Another natural plant mechanism that creates genetically uniform plants (clones) is apomixis. In fruit crops like citrus and mango, sporophytic apomixis results in polyembryony, where seeds contain multiple embryos, one is sexually originated and the others are vegetative clones of the parent mother tree. Utilizing the mango genome and genetic analysis of a diverse germplasm collection, we identified MiRWP as the gene that causes polyembryony in mango. There is a strong correlation between a specific insertion in the gene’s promoter region and altered expression in flowers and developing fruitlets, inducing multiple embryos. The MiRWP gene is an ortholog of CitRWP that causes polyembryony in citrus. Based on the data, we speculate that promoter insertion events, which occurred independently in citrus and mango, induced nucellar embryogenesis. The results suggest convergent evolution of polyembryony in the two species. Further work is required to demonstrate the utility of these genes (mango and citrus) in other biological systems as a tool for the clonal production of other crops.

Item Type:Article
Corporate Creators:Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland
Business groups:Horticulture and Forestry Science
Subjects:Science > Botany > Genetics
Plant culture > Horticulture. Horticultural crops
Plant culture > Fruit and fruit culture
Live Archive:11 Dec 2023 02:12
Last Modified:11 Dec 2023 02:12

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