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Genes Dev. 2000 Apr 15;14(8):1005-16.

Inhibitor of striate conditionally suppresses cell proliferation in variegated maize.

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Plant Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Research Center (PMBBRC), Gyeongsang National University, Chinju, Korea.


Since the work done by R.A. Emerson in the 1930s, Inhibitor of striate (Isr) has been recognized as a dose-dependent genetic modifier of variegation in chlorotic leaf striping mutants of maize such as striate2 (sr2). We have shown that Isr specifically inhibits proliferation and differentiation of plastid defective cells in sr2 mutants. Leaf narrowing is due to loss of intermediate veins and ground tissue located at leaf margins, and the few remaining plastid defective cells are of irregular size and aberrant organization. The Isr gene has been cloned by targeted transposon tagging. Isr mRNA is expressed throughout young leaves, but Isr chimeras indicate that the expression of Isr at leaf margins is sufficient to suppress both the lateral expansion of sr2 leaves and the extent of striping. Isr protein appears to encode a chloroplast protein with sequence similarity to a family of bacterial phosphatases involved in carbon catabolite repression or in carbon metabolism. We propose that the action of Isr in nuclear and plastid communication could be triggered by carbon stress.

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