Adaptomics of neofunctionalization: analysis of GORDITA-like genes in Brassicaceae

Project code: MU 1137/9-1

The project investigates how the origin of a single developmental control gene, GORDITA (GOA), by gene duplication and sequence divergence contributed to plant fitness and adaptation in the Brassicaceae. While the ancestral Bsister genes (ABS-type genes) are involved in ovule development, the derived GOA-type genes acquired a new expression domain and function in fruit development. By comprehensive comparative analyses involving GOA-type and ABS-type genes from diverse Brassicales species we will investigate when the lineage that led to extant GOA-type genes originated, and by which molecular mechanisms these genes acquired their unique expression patterns, domain structures, and function during fruit development. To better understand how the ancestors of GOA escaped 'Ohno's dilemma' we will analyze the molecular evolution in the different branches of Bsister genes during the phylogeny of Brassicales employing in silico methods. To assess how the origin of GOA-type genes contributed to the adaptation of Brassicaceae species we will determine proxies of plant fitness under greenhouse conditions using transgenic knock-out plants, and will do preparative work for future determination of plant fitness under natural growth conditions using non-transgenic mutants.
Specifically, our group is involved in the identification and characterization of GOA and ABS orthologs in diverse lineages of Brassicales. Analyses on the molecular evolution of the GOA-type genes will generally be done in the group of G.T. supported by K.M.

Publications related to the project

  • Kiefer M, Schmickl R, German DA, Mandáková T, Lysak MA, Al-Shehbaz IA, Franzke A, Mummenhoff K, Stamatakis A, Koch MA. (2014) BrassiBase: introduction to a novel knowledge database on Brassicaceae evolution. Plant Cell Physiol. 55: e3(1–9). Weblink Weblink
  • Mandáková T, Kovarík A, Zozomová-Lihová J, Shimizu-Inatsugi R, Shimizu KK, Mummenhoff K, Marhold K, Lysak MA. (2013) The more the merrier: recent hybridization and polyploidy in Cardamine. Plant Cell. 25: 3280-95. Weblink Weblink
  • Graeber K, Voegele A, Büttner-Mainik A, Sperber K, Mummenhoff K, Leubner-Metzger G. (2013) Spatiotemporal seed development analysis provides insight into primary dormancy induction and evolution of the Lepidium delay of germination1 genes. Plant Physiol. 161:1903-1917. Weblink Weblink
  • Mühlhausen A, Lenser T, Mummenhoff K, Theißen G.( 2013). Evidence that an evolutionary transition from dehiscent to indehiscent fruits in Lepidium (Brassicaceae) was caused by a change in the control of valve margin identity genes. Plant J. 73: 824-835. doi: 10.1111/tpj.12079. Weblink Weblink
  • Busch A, Horn S, Mühlhausen A, Mummenhoff K, Zachgo S. (2012) Corolla monosymmetry: evolution of a morphological novelty in the Brassicaceae family. Mol Biol Evol. 29: 1241-1254. Weblink Weblink
  • Geeta R, Dávalos LM, Levy A, Bohs Lavin, M, Mummenhoff K, Sinha N, Wojciechowski MF. (2012) Keeping it simple: Flowering plants tend to retain, and revert to, simple leaves. New Phytologist 193: 481–493. Weblink Weblink
  • Erdmann R, Gramzow L, Melzer R, Theißen G, Becker A. (2010) GORDITA (AGL63) is a young paralog of the Arabidopsis thaliana Bsister MADS box gene ABS (TT16) that has undergone neofunctionalization. Plant Journal, 63: 914-924. Weblink Weblink
  • Franzke A, Lysak MA, Al-Shehbaz IA, Koch MA, Mummenhoff K. (2011) Cabbage family affairs: The evolutionary history of Brassicaceae. Trends Plant Sci. 16: 108-116. Weblink Weblink
  • Couvreur T, Franzke A, Al-Shehbaz IA, Bakker FT, Koch MA, Mummenhoff K. (2010) Molecular Phylogenetics, Temporal Diversification, and Principles of Evolution in the Mustard Family (Brassicaceae). Mol. Biol. Evol. 27: 55-71. Weblink Weblink



  • Klaus Mummenhoff
    Prof. Dr. Klaus Mummenhoff
    Principal Investigator
    University of Osnabrück
    Office :+49 (0)541 / 969-2856
    send email
  • Katja Sperber, graduate assistant
    Researcher in SPP1529
    Office: +49
    (0)541 / 969 2838
    send email
  • Ulrike Coja, technical assistant
    Office: +49(0) 541 / 969 2838
    send email

Linked Projects

  • PI Günter Theissen
    University of Jena
    TH 417/9-1