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Dev Biol. 2006 Jul 1;295(1):1-12. Epub 2006 May 8.

Mosaic analysis of extended auricle1 (eta1) suggests that a two-way signaling pathway is involved in positioning the blade/sheath boundary in Zea mays.

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Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.


The maize leaf develops in a simple, stereotypical manner; therefore, it serves as a basic model to understand the processes involved in forming developmental boundaries. extended auricle1 (eta1) is a pleiotropic maize mutant that affects proximodistal leaf development. Mutant eta1 individuals display basipetal displacement of the blade/sheath boundary and the boundary between auricle and blade is not clearly delineated, leading to an undulating auricle. SEM analysis shows that eta1 is required for proper placement of the blade/sheath boundary on the adaxial leaf surface. Examination of vascular and cellular organization indicates that eta1 affects not only placement of the blade/sheath boundary, but also differentiation of cell types within the blade/sheath boundary. Genetic mosaic analysis was used to determine the effect of eta1 mutant tissue on wild-type leaf development and to resolve the site and timing of the Eta1+ gene product. Interestingly, sectors of eta1 tissue affect the placement of the blade/sheath boundary even in wild-type tissue. These results suggest that a two-way signaling pathway may be involved in the positioning of the blade/sheath boundary. Based on these data, we propose a model for Eta1+ function in the maize leaf.

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