Separation of shoot and floral identity in Arabidopsis.
The overall morphology of an Arabidopsis plant depends on the behaviour of its meristems. Meristems derived from the shoot apex can develop into either shoots or flowers. The distinction between these alternative fates requires separation between the function of floral meristem identity genes and the function of an antagonistic group of genes, which includes TERMINAL FLOWER 1. We show that the activities of these genes are restricted to separate domains of the shoot apex by different mechanisms. Meristem identity genes, such as LEAFY, APETALA 1 and CAULIFLOWER, prevent TERMINAL FLOWER 1 transcription in floral meristems on the apex periphery. TERMINAL FLOWER 1, in turn, can inhibit the activity of meristem identity genes at the centre of the shoot apex in two ways; first by delaying their upregulation, and second, by preventing the meristem from responding to LEAFY or APETALA 1. We suggest that the wild-type pattern of TERMINAL FLOWER 1 and floral meristem identity gene expression depends on the relative timing of their upregulation. (+info)
Shoot apical meristem and cotyledon formation during Arabidopsis embryogenesis: interaction among the CUP-SHAPED COTYLEDON and SHOOT MERISTEMLESS genes.
The shoot apical meristem and cotyledons of higher plants are established during embryogenesis in the apex. Redundant CUP-SHAPED COTYLEDON 1 (CUC1) and CUC2 as well as SHOOT MERISTEMLESS (STM) of Arabidopsis are required for shoot apical meristem formation and cotyledon separation. To elucidate how the apical region of the embryo is established, we investigated genetic interactions among CUC1, CUC2 and STM, as well as the expression patterns of CUC2 and STM mRNA. Expression of these genes marked the incipient shoot apical meristem as well as the boundaries of cotyledon primordia, consistent with their roles for shoot apical meristem formation and cotyledon separation. Genetic and expression analyses indicate that CUC1 and CUC2 are redundantly required for expression of STM to form the shoot apical meristem, and that STM is required for proper spatial expression of CUC2 to separate cotyledons. A model for pattern formation in the apical region of the Arabidopsis embryo is presented. (+info)
Signaling of cell fate decisions by CLAVATA3 in Arabidopsis shoot meristems.
In higher plants, organogenesis occurs continuously from self-renewing apical meristems. Arabidopsis thaliana plants with loss-of-function mutations in the CLAVATA (CLV1, 2, and 3) genes have enlarged meristems and generate extra floral organs. Genetic analysis indicates that CLV1, which encodes a receptor kinase, acts with CLV3 to control the balance between meristem cell proliferation and differentiation. CLV3 encodes a small, predicted extracellular protein. CLV3 acts nonautonomously in meristems and is expressed at the meristem surface overlying the CLV1 domain. These proteins may act as a ligand-receptor pair in a signal transduction pathway, coordinating growth between adjacent meristematic regions. (+info)
Replication in the phloem is not necessary for efficient vascular transport of tobacco mosaic tobamovirus.
Plant viruses move systemically from one leaf to another via phloem. However, the viral functions needed for systemic movement are not fully elucidated. An experimental system was designed to study the effects of low temperature on the vascular transport of the tobacco mosaic tobamovirus (TMV). Vascular transport of TMV from lower inoculated leaves to upper non-inoculated leaves via a stem segment kept at low temperature (4 degrees C) was not affected. On the other hand, several experiments were performed on tobacco leaves to demonstrate that virus replication did not occur at the same temperature. The data suggest that replication of TMV in the phloem of wild-type tobacco plants is not necessary for the vascular transport of TMV, and that the virus moves with photoassimilates as suggested previously. (+info)
Heterologous expression of Arabidopsis phytochrome B in transgenic potato influences photosynthetic performance and tuber development.
Transgenic potato (Solanum tuberosum) plants expressing Arabidopsis phytochrome B were characterized morphologically and physiologically under white light in a greenhouse to explore their potential for improved photosynthesis and higher tuber yields. As expected, overexpression of functional phytochrome B caused pleiotropic effects such as semidwarfism, decreased apical dominance, a higher number of smaller but thicker leaves, and increased pigmentation. Because of increased numbers of chloroplasts in elongated palisade cells, photosynthesis per leaf area and in each individual plant increased. In addition, photosynthesis was less sensitive to photoinactivation under prolonged light stress. The beginning of senescence was not delayed, but deceleration of chlorophyll degradation extended the lifetime of photosynthetically active plants. Both the higher photosynthetic performance and the longer lifespan of the transgenic plants allowed greater biomass production, resulting in extended underground organs with increased tuber yields. (+info)
The MADS-domain protein AGAMOUS-like 15 accumulates in embryonic tissues with diverse origins.
AGL15 (AGAMOUS-like 15), a member of the MADS-domain family of regulatory factors, accumulates preferentially in the organs and tissues derived from double fertilization in flowering plants (i.e. the embryo, suspensor, and endosperm). The developmental role of AGL15 is still undefined. If it is involved in embryogenesis rather than some other aspect of seed biology, then AGL15 protein should accumulate whenever development proceeds in the embryonic mode, regardless of the origin of those embryos or their developmental context. To test this, we used AGL15-specific antibodies to analyze apomictic embryogenesis in dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), microspore embryogenesis in oilseed rape (Brassica napus), and somatic embryogenesis in alfalfa (Medicago sativa). In every case, AGL15 accumulated to relatively high levels in the nuclei of the embryos. AGL15 also accumulated in cotyledon-like organs produced by the xtc2 (extra cotyledon2) mutant of Arabidopsis and during precocious germination in oilseed rape. Furthermore, the subcellular localization of AGL15 appeared to be developmentally regulated in all embryogenic situations. AGL15 was initially present in the cytoplasm of cells and became nuclear localized before or soon after embryogenic cell divisions began. These results support the hypothesis that AGL15 participates in the regulation of programs active during the early stages of embryo development. (+info)
BUNDLE SHEATH DEFECTIVE2, a novel protein required for post-translational regulation of the rbcL gene of maize.
The Bundle sheath defective2 (Bsd2) gene is required for ribulose-1, 5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) accumulation in maize. Using a Mutator transposable element as a molecular probe, we identified a tightly linked restriction fragment length polymorphism that cosegregated with the bsd2-conferred phenotype. This fragment was cloned, and sequences flanking the Mutator insertion were used to screen a maize leaf cDNA library. Using a full-length cDNA clone isolated in this screen, we show that an abundant 0.6-kb transcript could be detected in wild-type plants but not in bsd2-m1 plants. This 0.6-kb transcript accumulated to low levels in plants carrying an allele derived from bsd2-m1 that conditions a less severe mutant phenotype. Taken together, these data strongly suggest that we have cloned the Bsd2 gene. Sequence analysis of the full-length cDNA clone revealed a chloroplast targeting sequence and a region of homology shared between BSD2 and the DnaJ class of molecular chaperones. This region of homology is limited to a cysteine-rich Zn binding domain in DnaJ believed to play a role in protein-protein interactions. We show that BSD2 is targeted to the chloroplast but is not involved in general photosynthetic complex assembly or protein import. In bsd2 mutants, we could not detect the Rubisco protein, but the chloroplast-encoded Rubisco large subunit transcript (rbcL) was abundant and associated with polysomes in both bundle sheath and mesophyll cells. By characterizing Bsd2 expression patterns and analyzing the bsd2-conferred phenotype, we propose a model for BSD2 in the post-translational regulation of rbcL in maize. (+info)
Independent regulation of flowering by phytochrome B and gibberellins in Arabidopsis.
Phytochromes and gibberellins (GAs) coordinately regulate multiple aspects of Arabidopsis development. Phytochrome B (PHYB) promotes seed germination by increasing GA biosynthesis, but inhibits hypocotyl elongation by decreasing the responsiveness to GAs. Later in the life cycle of the plant, PHYB and GAs have opposite effects on flowering. PHYB delays flowering, while GAs promote flowering, particularly under noninductive photoperiods. To learn how PHYB and GAs interact in the control of flowering, we have analyzed the effect of a phyB mutation on flowering time and on the expression of the floral meristem-identity gene LFY (LEAFY). We show that the early flowering caused by phyB correlated with an increase in LFY expression, which complements our previous finding that GAs are required for activation of LFY under noninductive photoperiods (M.A. Blazquez, R. Green, O. Nilsson, M.R. Sussman, D. Weigel  Plant Cell 10: 791-800). Since phyB did not change the GA responsiveness of the LFY promoter and suppressed the lack of flowering of severe GA-deficient mutants under short days, we propose that PHYB modulates flowering time at least partially through a GA-independent pathway. Interestingly, the effects of PHYB on flowering do not seem to be mediated by transcriptional up-regulation of genes such as CO (CONSTANS) and FT (Flowering locus T), which are known to mediate the effects of the photoperiod-dependent floral-induction pathway. (+info)