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Plant Cell. Oct 1995; 7(10): 1583–1598.
PMCID: PMC161015

Male and female flowers of the dioecious plant sorrel show different patterns of MADS box gene expression.


Male and female flowers of the dioecious plant sorrel (Rumex acetosa) each produce three whorls of developed floral organs: two similar whorls of three perianth segments and either six stamens (in the male) or a gynoecium consisting of a fertile carpel and two sterile carpels (in the female). In the developing male flower, there is no significant proliferation of cells in the center of the flower, in the position normally occupied by the carpels of a hermaphrodite plant. In the female flower, small stamen primordia are formed. To determine whether the organ differences are associated with differences in the expression of organ identity genes, cDNA clones representing the putative homologs of B and C function MADS box genes were isolated and used in an in situ hybridization analysis. The expression of RAD1 and RAD2 (two different DEFICIENS homologs) in males and females was confined to the stamen whorl; the lack of expression in the second, inner perianth whorl correlated with the sepaloid nature of the inner whorl of perianth segments. Expression of RAP1 (a PLENA homolog) occurred in the carpel and stamen whorls in very young flower primordia from both males and females. However, as soon as the inappropriate set of organs ceased to develop, RAP1 expression became undetectable in those organs. The absence of expression of RAP1 may be the cause of the arrest in organ development or may be a consequence.

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Selected References

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Articles from The Plant Cell are provided here courtesy of American Society of Plant Biologists


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