Duplication, retention, and expression of CYCLOIDEA2 (CYC2)-like genes are thought to affect evolution of corolla symmetry. However, exactly what and how changes in CYC2-like genes correlate with the origin of corolla zygomorphy are poorly understood. We inferred and calibrated a densely sampled phylogeny of CYC2-like genes across the Lamiales and examined their expression in early diverging (EDL) and higher core clades (HCL). CYC2-like genes duplicated extensively in Lamiales, at least six times in core Lamiales (CL) around the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary, and seven more in EDL relatively more recently. Nested duplications and losses of CYC2-like paralogs are pervasive but may not correlate with transitions in corolla symmetry. We found evidence for dN/dS (ω) variation following gene duplications. CYC2-like paralogs in HCL show differential expression with higher expression in adaxial petals. Asymmetric expression but not recurrent duplication of CYC2-like genes correlates with the origin of corolla zygomorphy. Changes in both cis-regulatory and coding domains of CYC2-like genes are probably crucial for the evolution of corolla zygomorphy. Multiple selection regimes appear likely to play important roles in gene retention. The parallel duplications of CYC2-like genes are after the initial diversification of bumble bees and Euglossine bees.
Keywords: CYCLOIDEA2 (CYC2)-like gene; Lamiales; corolla symmetry; gene duplication and retention; positive selection.
© 2014 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2014 New Phytologist Trust.