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Plant Cell. 2011 Jul;23(7):2536-52. doi: 10.1105/tpc.111.087262. Epub 2011 Jul 22.

Rice MADS6 interacts with the floral homeotic genes SUPERWOMAN1, MADS3, MADS58, MADS13, and DROOPING LEAF in specifying floral organ identities and meristem fate.

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Institute of Plant Science, State Key Laboratory of Hybrid Rice, School of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China.


AGAMOUS-LIKE6 (AGL6) genes play essential roles in flower development, but whether and how they work with floral organ identity genes remain less understood. Here, we describe interactions of the rice (Oryza sativa) AGL6 gene MADS6 with other rice floral homeotic genes in flower development. Genetic analyses revealed that MADS6 specifies the identity of the three inner whorls and floral meristem determinacy redundantly with SUPERWOMAN1/MADS16 (B-gene) or MADS3 (C-gene). MADS6 was shown to define carpel/ovule development and floral determinacy by interacting with MADS13 (D-gene) and control the palea and floral meristem identities together with the YABBY gene DROOPING LEAF. Expression analyses revealed that the transcript levels of six B-, C-, and E-class genes were reduced in mads6-1 at the early flower developmental stage, suggesting that MADS6 is a key regulator of early flower development. Moreover, MADS6 can directly bind to a putative regulatory motif on MADS58 (C-gene), and mads6-1 mads58 displayed phenotypes similar to that of mads6-1. These results suggest that MADS6 is a key player in specifying flower development via interacting with other floral homeotic genes in rice, thus providing new insights into the mechanism by which flower development is controlled.

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