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Plant Cell. 2012 Dec;24(12):4807-18. doi: 10.1105/tpc.112.104968. Epub 2012 Dec 14.

Ln is a key regulator of leaflet shape and number of seeds per pod in soybean.

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Bio-Evaluation Center, Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Cheongwon, Chungbuk 363-883, Republic of Korea.


Narrow leaflet soybean (Glycine max) varieties tend to have more seeds per pod than broad leaflet varieties. Narrow leaflet in soybean is conferred by a single recessive gene, ln. Here, we show that the transition from broad (Ln) to narrow leaflet (ln) is associated with an amino acid substitution in the EAR motif encoded by a gene (designated Gm-JAGGED1) homologous to Arabidopsis JAGGED (JAG) that regulates lateral organ development and the variant exerts a pleiotropic effect on fruit patterning. The genomic region that regulates both the traits was mapped to a 12.6-kb region containing only one gene, Gm-JAG1. Introducing the Gm-JAG1 allele into a loss-of-function Arabidopsis jagged mutant partially restored the wild-type JAG phenotypes, including leaf shape, flower opening, and fruit shape, but the Gm-jag1 (ln) and EAR-deleted Gm-JAG1 alleles in the jagged mutant did not result in an apparent phenotypic change. These observations indicate that despite some degree of functional change of Gm-JAG1 due to the divergence from Arabidopsis JAG, Gm-JAG1 complemented the functions of JAG in Arabidopsis thaliana. However, the Gm-JAG1 homoeolog, Gm-JAG2, appears to be sub- or neofunctionalized, as revealed by the differential expression of the two genes in multiple plant tissues, a complementation test, and an allelic analysis at both loci.

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