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Development. 2001 Nov;128(22):4657-67.

The Arabidopsis nectary is an ABC-independent floral structure.

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Section of Plant Biology, Universsity of California Davis, Davis, CA 95616, USA.


In contrast to the conservation of floral organ order in angiosperm flowers, nectary glands can be found in various floral and extrafloral positions. Since in Arabidopsis, the nectary develops only at the base of stamens, its specification was assayed with regard to the floral homeotic ABC selector genes. We show that the nectary can form independently of any floral organ identity gene but is restricted to the 'third whorl' domain in the flower. This domain is, in part, specified redundantly by LEAFY and UNUSUAL FLORAL ORGANS. Even though nectary glands arise from cells previously expressing the B class genes, their proper development requires the down-regulation of B class gene activity. While CRABS CLAW is essential for nectary gland formation, its ectopic expression is not sufficient to induce ectopic nectary formation. We show that in Arabidopsis multiple factors act to restrict the nectary to the flower, and surprisingly, some of these factors are LEAFY and UNUSUAL FLORAL ORGANS.

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