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Development. 2003 Oct;130(19):4695-708.

The FORKED genes are essential for distal vein meeting in Arabidopsis.

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Department of Biological Sciences, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, AB, TIK 3M4, Canada.


As in most dicotyledonous plants, the leaves and cotyledons of Arabidopsis have a closed, reticulate venation pattern. This pattern is proposed to be generated through canalization of the hormone auxin. We have identified two genes, FORKED 1 (FKD1) and FORKED 2 (FKD2), that are necessary for the closed venation pattern: mutations in either gene result in an open venation pattern that lacks distal meeting. In fkd1 leaves and cotyledons, the defect is first evident in the provascular tissue, such that the distal end of the newly forming vein does not connect to the previously formed, more distal vein. Plants doubly mutant for both genes have widespread defects in leaf venation, suggesting that the genes function in an overlapping manner at the distal junctions, but act redundantly throughout leaf veins. Expression of an auxin responsive reporter gene is reduced in fkd1 leaves, suggesting that FKD1 is necessary for the auxin response that directs vascular tissue development. The reduction in reporter gene expression and the fkd1 phenotype are relieved in the presence of auxin transport inhibition. The restoration of vein junctions in situations where auxin concentrations are increased indicates that distal vein junctions are sites of low auxin concentration and are particularly sensitive to reduced FKD1 and FKD2 activity.

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