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Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2010 Feb;21(1):80-6. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2009.11.012. Epub 2009 Nov 13.

Regulatory mechanisms for floral homeotic gene expression.

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  • 1Dept. of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA. zliu@umd.edu


Proper regulation of floral homeotic gene (or ABCE gene) expression ensures the development of floral organs in the correct number, type, and precise spatial arrangement. This review summarizes recent advances on the regulation of floral homeotic genes, highlighting the variety and the complexity of the regulatory mechanisms involved. As flower development is one of the most well characterized developmental processes in higher plants, it facilitates the discovery of novel regulatory mechanisms. To date, mechanisms for the regulation of floral homeotic genes range from transcription to post-transcription, from activators to repressors, and from microRNA- to ubiquitin-mediated post-transcriptional regulation. Region-specific activation of floral homeotic genes is dependent on the integration of a flower-specific activity provided by LEAFY (LFY) and a region- and stage-specific activating function provided by one of the LFY cofactors. Two types of regulatory loops, the feed-forward and the feedback loop, provide properly timed gene activation and subsequent maintenance and refinement in proper spatial and temporal domains of ABCE genes. Two different microRNA/target modules may have been independently recruited in different plant species to regulate C gene expression. Additionally, competition among different MADS box proteins for common interacting partners may represent a mechanism in whorl boundary demarcation. Future work using systems approaches and the development of non-model plants will provide integrated views on floral homeotic gene regulation and insights into the evolution of morphological diversity in flowering plants.

Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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