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Development. 2002 Oct;129(20):4707-17.

STY1 and STY2 promote the formation of apical tissues during Arabidopsis gynoecium development.

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Department of Physiological Botany, Evolutionary Biology Centre, Uppsala University, Villav├Ągen 6, S-752 36 Uppsala, Sweden.


Gynoecium ontogenesis in Arabidopsis is accomplished by the co-ordinated activity of genes that control patterning and the regional differentiation of tissues, and ultimately results in the formation of a basal ovary, a short style and an apical stigma. A transposon insertion in the STYLISH1 (STY1) gene results in gynoecia with aberrant style morphology, while an insertion mutation in the closely related STYLISH2 (STY2) gene has no visible effect on gynoecium development. However, sty1-1 sty2-1 double mutant plants exhibit an enhanced sty1-1 mutant phenotype and are characterized by a further reduction in the amount of stylar and stigmatic tissues and decreased proliferation of stylar xylem. These data imply that STY1 and STY2 are partially redundant and that both genes promote style and stigma formation and influence vascular development during Arabidopsis gynoecium development. Consistently, STY1 and STY2 are expressed in the apical parts of the developing gynoecium and ectopic expression of either STY1 or STY2 driven by the CaMV 35S promoter is sufficient to transform valve cells into style cells. STY1::GUS and STY2::GUS activity is detected in many other organs as well as the gynoecium, suggesting that STY1 and STY2 may have additional functions. This is supported by the sty1-1 sty2-1 double mutants producing rosette and cauline leaves with a higher degree of serration than wild-type leaves. STY1 and STY2 are members of a small gene family, and encode proteins with a RING finger-like motif. Double mutant analyses indicate that STY1 genetically interacts with SPATULA and possibly also with CRABS CLAW.

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