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EPISEX (2018 - 2023)

Towards understanding the epigenetic control of sex determination in Cucurbits

How the gender of a flower or plant is determined is an important issue in plant developmental biology. Understanding this process also has practical applications in agriculture and plant breeding, as the gender of a flower or plant often limits how it is bred and cultivated.

In melon, sexual morphs are determined by interplay of alleles of three major sex genes. Sex expression may be also modified by hormones, by environmental factors or by treatment of the plant by epigenetic state modifiers.

Our proposal aims to unravel the epigenetic regulation of the development of unisexual and hermaphrodite flowers, using melon as a model system. Through this investigation we also aim to engineer sexual morphs that could be tested for yield and yield stability.

Fleurs femelles melon

Left to right, female, male and hermaphroditic flowers of melon

Determinisme sexe Melon

Sex determinism in melon

A- Distribution of unisexual and hermaphrodite flowers in melon plants of different sexual morphs.

B- Model of sex determinism in melon based on Boualem et al. Science 2016. In this model CmACS-7 and CmWIP1 are repressors of stamens and carpels, respectively, and CmACS11 is a repressor of CmWIP1 function

Modification date: 21 June 2023 | Publication date: 15 February 2018 | By: SLP