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Plant J. 2001 May;26(4):385-94.

APETALA1 and SEPALLATA3 interact to promote flower development.

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Section of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0116, USA.


In Arabidopsis, the closely related APETALA1 (AP1) and CAULIFLOWER (CAL) MADS-box genes share overlapping roles in promoting flower meristem identity. Later in flower development, the AP1 gene is required for normal development of sepals and petals. Studies of MADS-domain proteins in diverse species have shown that they often function as heterodimers or in larger ternary complexes, suggesting that additional proteins may interact with AP1 and CAL during flower development. To identify proteins that may interact with AP1 and CAL, we used the yeast two-hybrid assay. Among the five MADS-box genes identified in this screen, the SEPALLATA3 (SEP3) gene was chosen for further study. Mutations in the SEP3 gene, as well as SEP3 antisense plants that have a reduction in SEP3 RNA, display phenotypes that closely resemble intermediate alleles of AP1. Furthermore, the early flowering phenotype of plants constitutively expressing AP1 is significantly enhanced by constitutive SEP3 expression. Taken together, these studies suggest that SEP3 interacts with AP1 to promote normal flower development.

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