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Journal of Experimental Botany

Jiffinvir Khosa 
Francesca Bellinazzo 
Rina Kamenetsky Goldstein 
Richard Macknight 
Richard G H Immink 

Geophytes, the plants that form vegetative storage organs, are characterized by a dual reproduction system, in which vegetative and sexual propagation are tightly regulated to ensure fitness in harsh climatic conditions. Recent findings highlight the role of the PEBP (PHOSPHATIDYLETHANOLAMINE-BINDING PROTEINS) gene family in geophytes as major players in the molecular cascades underlying both types of reproduction. In this review, we briefly explain the life cycle and reproduction strategies of different geophytes and what is known about the physiological aspects related to these processes. Subsequently, an in-depth overview is provided of the molecular and genetic pathways driving these processes. In the evolution of plants, the PEBP gene family has expanded followed by neo- and sub-functionalization. Careful characterization revealed that differential expression and differential protein complex formation provides the members of this gene family with unique functions, enabling to mediate the crosstalk between the two reproductive events in geophytes in response to environmental and endogenous cues. Taken all these studies into account, we propose to regard the PEBPs as conductors of geophytes reproductive development.

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PEBP proteins: the conductors of dual reproduction in plants with vegetative storage organs

Jiffinvir Khosa 
Francesca Bellinazzo 
Rina Kamenetsky Goldstein 
Richard Macknight 
Richard G H Immink 

PEBP proteins: the conductors of dual reproduction in plants with vegetative storage organs

Geophytes, the plants that form vegetative storage organs, are characterized by a dual reproduction system, in which vegetative and sexual propagation are tightly regulated to ensure fitness in harsh climatic conditions. Recent findings highlight the role of the PEBP (PHOSPHATIDYLETHANOLAMINE-BINDING PROTEINS) gene family in geophytes as major players in the molecular cascades underlying both types of reproduction. In this review, we briefly explain the life cycle and reproduction strategies of different geophytes and what is known about the physiological aspects related to these processes. Subsequently, an in-depth overview is provided of the molecular and genetic pathways driving these processes. In the evolution of plants, the PEBP gene family has expanded followed by neo- and sub-functionalization. Careful characterization revealed that differential expression and differential protein complex formation provides the members of this gene family with unique functions, enabling to mediate the crosstalk between the two reproductive events in geophytes in response to environmental and endogenous cues. Taken all these studies into account, we propose to regard the PEBPs as conductors of geophytes reproductive development.

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