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Cell. 1999 Nov 12;99(4):367-76.

Control of organ asymmetry in flowers of Antirrhinum.

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Genetics Department, John Innes Centre, Norwich, United Kingdom.


Organ asymmetry is thought to have evolved many times independently in plants. In Antirrhinum, asymmetry of the flower and its component organs requires cyc and dich gene activity. We show that, like cyc, the dich gene encodes a product belonging to the TCP family of DNA-binding proteins that is first expressed in the dorsal domain of early floral meristems. However, whereas cyc continues to be expressed throughout dorsal regions, expression of dich eventually becomes restricted to the most dorsal half of each dorsal petal. This correlates with the effects of dich mutations and ectopic cyc expression on petal shape, providing an indication that plant organ asymmetry can reflect subdomains of gene activity. Taken together, the results indicate that plant organ asymmetry can arise through a series of steps during which early asymmetry in the developing meristem is progressively built upon.

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