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Development. 2001 Jan;128(1):13-23.

The Arabidopsis floral homeotic gene APETALA3 differentially regulates intercellular signaling required for petal and stamen development.

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Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, PO Box 208104, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.


Cell-cell signaling is crucial for the coordination of cell division and differentiation during plant organogenesis. We have developed a novel mosaic analysis method for Arabidopsis, based on the maize Ac/Ds transposable element system, to assess the requirements of individual genes in intercellular signaling. Using this strategy, we have shown that the floral homeotic APETALA3 (AP3) gene has distinct roles in regulating intercellular signaling in different tissues. In petals, AP3 acts primarily in a cell-autonomous fashion to regulate cell type differentiation, but its function is also required in a non-cell-autonomous fashion to regulate organ shape. In contrast, AP3-regulated intercellular interactions are required for conferring both cell type identity and organ shape and size in the stamens. Using antibodies raised against AP3, we have shown that the AP3 protein does not traffic between cells. These observations imply that AP3 acts by differentially regulating the production of intercellular signals in a whorl-specific manner.

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