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Plant Cell. 2009 Oct;21(10):3105-18. doi: 10.1105/tpc.109.070458. Epub 2009 Oct 16.

YABBYs and the transcriptional corepressors LEUNIG and LEUNIG_HOMOLOG maintain leaf polarity and meristem activity in Arabidopsis.

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Genetics Department, University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3010, Australia.


In Arabidopsis thaliana, FILAMENTOUS FLOWER (FIL) and YABBY3 (YAB3) encode YABBY domain proteins that regulate abaxial patterning, growth of lateral organs, and inflorescence phyllotaxy. In this study, we show that YABs physically interact with components of a transcriptional repressor complex that include LEUNIG (LUG), LEUNIG_HOMOLOG (LUH), the LUG-associated coregulator SEUSS, and related SEUSS-LIKE proteins. Consistent with the formation of a LUG-YAB complex, we find that lug mutants enhance the polarity and growth defects of fil yab3 mutant leaves and that this enhancement is due to a loss of LUG activity from the abaxial domain. We performed a more extensive genetic analysis, which included the characterization of yab triple and quadruple mutants, lug luh/+ (heterozygous only for luh) mutants, and plants expressing artificial microRNAs targeting LUG or LUH. These analyses showed that the LUG-YAB complex also promotes adaxial cell identity in leaves as well as embryonic shoot apical meristem (SAM) initiation and postembryonic SAM maintenance. Based on the likely formation of the LUG-YAB complex in the abaxial domain of cotyledons and leaves, we propose that this complex has numerous non-cell-autonomous functions during plant development.

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