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Cell. 2001 Jun 15;105(6):805-14.

Termination of stem cell maintenance in Arabidopsis floral meristems by interactions between WUSCHEL and AGAMOUS.

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Universität Tübingen, ZMBP--Entwicklungsgenetik, Auf der Morgenstelle 3, D-72076 Tübingen, Germany.


Floral meristems and shoot apical meristems (SAMs) are homologous, self-maintaining stem cell systems. Unlike SAMs, floral meristems are determinate, and stem cell maintenance is abolished once all floral organs are initiated. To investigate the underlying regulatory mechanisms, we analyzed the interactions between WUSCHEL (WUS), which specifies stem cell identity, and AGAMOUS (AG), which is required for floral determinacy. Our results show that repression of WUS by AG is essential for terminating the floral meristem and that WUS can induce AG expression in developing flowers. Together, this suggests that floral determinacy depends on a negative autoregulatory mechanism involving WUS and AG, which terminates stem cell maintenance.

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