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Development. 2004 Feb;131(4):915-22.

CUPULIFORMIS establishes lateral organ boundaries in Antirrhinum.

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  • 1Centre for Plant Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK.


Cupuliformis mutants are defective in shoot apical meristem formation, but cup plants overcome this early barrier to development to reach maturity. CUP encodes a NAC-domain transcription factor, homologous to the Petunia NAM and Arabidopsis CUC proteins. The phenotype of cup mutants differs from those of nam and cuc1 cuc2 in that dramatic organ fusion is observed throughout development. In addition to cotyledon and floral organ fusions, severe lateral organ fusion is found in leaves and inflorescences, and the apical meristem becomes highly fasciated. These features reveal a role for CUP in the establishment of all above ground organ boundaries. Consistent with this function, CUP is expressed at the boundaries of all lateral organs and meristems. It is not currently known how NAC-domain genes act to establish organ boundaries. Here, we show that CUP directly interacts with a TCP-domain transcription factor. Members of the TCP-domain family have previously been shown to regulate organ outgrowth. Our results suggest a model for the establishment of organ boundaries based on the localised expression of NAC-domain and TCP-domain factors.

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