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Nature. 1996 Oct 31;383(6603):794-9.

Origin of floral asymmetry in Antirrhinum.

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  • 1Genetics Department, John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK.


Dorsoventral asymmetry in flowers is thought to have evolved many times from a radially symmetrical ancestral condition. The first gene controlling floral asymmetry, cycloidea in Antirrhinum, has been isolated. The cycloidea gene is expressed at a very early stage in dorsal regions of floral meristems, where it affects growth rate and primordium initiation. Expression continues through to later stages in dorsal primordia to affect the asymmetry, size and cell types of petals and stamens.

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