Hose in Hose, an S locus-linked mutant of Primula vulgaris, is caused by an unstable mutation at the Globosa locus

Jinhong Li, Brigitta Dudas, Margaret A. Webster, Holly E. Cook, Brendan H. Davies, Philip M. Gilmartin

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Hose in Hose mutants of primrose and cowslip have been cultivated since the early 17th century and show dominant homeotic conversion of sepals to petals. The phenotype shows variable penetrance and expressivity and is linked to the S locus, which controls floral heteromorphy in Primula species. Here we demonstrate that the homeotic conversion of sepals to petals in Hose in Hose is associated with up-regulation of both Primula B-function MADS box genes PvDef and PvGlo in the first floral whorl. We have defined a restriction fragment length polymorphism associated with PvGlo that cosegregates with the Hose in Hose phenotype and have also identified and characterized a retrotransposon insertion in the PvGlo promoter which is associated with the upregulated expression of PvGlo. Excision of this retrotransposon, associated with epigenetic changes at the locus, causes reversion toward normal calyces and restores wild-type flower development. These data define the molecular basis of the Hose in Hose mutation and provide an explanation for its long-documented phenotypic instability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5664-5668
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS)
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 23 Mar 2010


  • flower development
  • floral heteroorphy
  • transcription-associated recombination

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