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Development. 2005 Aug;132(16):3657-68. Epub 2005 Jul 20.

Regulation of Arabidopsis shoot apical meristem and lateral organ formation by microRNA miR166g and its AtHD-ZIP target genes.

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  • 1Plant Gene Expression Center, USDA/UC Berkeley, 800 Buchanan Street, Albany, CA 94710, USA.


Plant development is characterized by precise control of gene regulation, leading to the correct spatial and temporal tissue patterning. We have characterized the Arabidopsis jabba-1D (jba-1D) mutant, which displays multiple enlarged shoot meristems, radialized leaves, reduced gynoecia and vascular defects. The jba-1D meristem phenotypes require WUSCHEL (WUS) activity, and correlate with a dramatic increase in WUS expression levels. We demonstrate that the jba-1D phenotypes are caused by over-expression of miR166g, and require the activity of the RNase III helicase DCL1. miR166g over-expression in jba-1D plants affects the transcripts of several class III homeodomain-leucine zipper (AtHD-ZIP) family target genes. The expression of PHABULOSA (PHB), PHAVOLUTA (PHV) and CORONA (CNA) is significantly reduced in a jba-1D background, while REVOLUTA (REV) expression is elevated and ATHB8 is unchanged. In addition, we show that miR166 has a dynamic expression pattern in wild-type and jba-1D embryos. Our analysis demonstrates an indirect role for miRNAs in controlling meristem formation via regulation of WUS expression, and reveals complex regulation of the class III AtHD-ZIP gene family.

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