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Dev Biol. 2005 Sep 1;285(1):272-84.

POL and related phosphatases are dosage-sensitive regulators of meristem and organ development in Arabidopsis.

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  • 1Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1048, USA.


CLAVATA1 (CLV1) regulates stem cell accumulation at Arabidopsis shoot and flower meristems. CLV1 encodes a receptor-like kinase, but very little is known about downstream signaling components of receptor-kinase signaling in plants. poltergeist (pol) mutants suppress the accumulation of stem cells that occur in clv mutants, and POL has been hypothesized to modulate CLV1 signaling. The POL gene, which encodes a functional protein phosphatase type 2C, is a member of a six-gene family in Arabidopsis. We have isolated loss-of-function alleles for each of the five POL-like genes (PLL1-PLL5). All gene family members, with the exception of PLL3, are expressed broadly within the plant, albeit at differing levels. We show that PLL1 regulates meristem development in parallel with POL. We observe a strong dosage sensitivity at the meristem for POL and PLL1 function in both loss- and gain-of-function analyses, suggesting that these proteins are rate-limiting modulators of stem cell specification. PLL genes also function outside of the meristem: POL and PLL1 regulate pedicel length in interaction with ERECTA, while PLL4 and PLL5 regulate leaf development. We observed no developmental role for either PLL2 or PLL3 based on single and double mutant analysis.

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