The genus Passiflora (Passifloraceae: Malpighiales) includes around 600 plant species with diverse growth habits. Within the genus, plant architectures vary and some structures may be considered evolutionary novelties, such as the tendrils and the filamentous floral organs of the corona. Plant development is generally controlled by a balance between hormonal influences and the action of transcription factors. Knowing the expression pattern of key genes is essential for the understanding of plant developemt. The TCP (Teosinte Branched1/Cycloidea/Proliferating Cell Factor) gene family members are tought to be involved in key events of plant development. There are reports in the literature that variations in the expression patterns of TCP genes contributed to the emergence of evolutionary novelties such as zigomorphic flowers and tendrils. The genome of Passiflora organensis is completely sequenced and allows the identification and analysis of genes potentially involved in the control of the development of plants from the genus Passiflora. Our aim is to identify and characterize genes belonging to the TCP family in Passiflora and relate their expression patterns, using Real Time PCR and in situ hybridizayion, to the development of potential evolutionary novelties such as the tendrils.
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