The MYB98 subcircuit of the synergid gene regulatory network includes genes directly and indirectly regulated by MYB98


*(fax +1 801 581 4668; e-mail


The female gametophyte contains two synergid cells that play a role in many steps of the angiosperm reproductive process, including pollen tube guidance. At their micropylar poles, the synergid cells have a thickened and elaborated cell wall: the filiform apparatus that is thought to play a role in the secretion of the pollen tube attractant(s). MYB98 regulates an important subcircuit of the synergid gene regulatory network (GRN) that functions to activate the expression of genes required for pollen tube guidance and filiform apparatus formation. The MYB98 subcircuit comprises at least 83 downstream genes, including 48 genes within four gene families (CRP810, CRP3700, CRP3730 and CRP3740) that encode Cys-rich proteins. We show that the 11 CRP3700 genes, which include DD11 and DD18, are regulated by a common cis-element, GTAACNT, and that a multimer of this sequence confers MYB98-dependent synergid expression. The GTAACNT element contains the MYB98-binding site identified in vitro, suggesting that the 11 CRP3700 genes are direct targets of MYB98. We also show that five of the CRP810 genes, which include DD2, lack a functional GTAACNT element, suggesting that they are not directly regulated by MYB98. In addition, we show that the five CRP810 genes are regulated by the cis-element AACGT, and that a multimer of this sequence confers synergid expression. Together, these results suggest that the MYB98 branch of the synergid GRN is multi-tiered and, therefore, contains at least one additional downstream transcription factor.