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Plant Cell. 1991 Aug;3(8):771-781.

LEAFY, a Homeotic Gene That Regulates Inflorescence Development in Arabidopsis.

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  • 1Biology Department, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, S7N 0W0, Canada.


Variation in plant shoot structure may be described as occurring through changes within a basic unit, the metamer. Using this terminology, the apical meristem of Arabidopsis produces three metameric types sequentially: type 1, rosette; type 2, coflorescence-bearing with bract; and type 3, flower-bearing without bract. We describe a mutant of Arabidopsis, Leafy, homozygous for a recessive allele of a nuclear gene LEAFY (LFY), that has an inflorescence composed only of type 2-like metamers. These data suggest that the LFY gene is required for the development of type 3 metamers and that the transition from type 2 to type 3 metamers is a developmental step distinct from that between vegetative and reproductive growth (type 1 to type 2 metamers). Results from double mutant analysis, showing that lfy-1 is epistatic to the floral organ homeotic gene ap2-6, are consistent with the hypothesis that a functional LFY gene is necessary for the expression of downstream genes controlling floral organ identity.

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