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Plant J. 2014 Nov;80(4):629-41. doi: 10.1111/tpj.12658. Epub 2014 Oct 1.

AUXIN RESPONSE FACTOR 3 integrates the functions of AGAMOUS and APETALA2 in floral meristem determinacy.

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Key Laboratory of Agricultural Water Resources, Hebei Laboratory of Agricultural Water-Saving, Center for Agricultural Resources Research, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 286 Huaizhong Rd, Shijiazhuang, 050021, China; Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, Institute of Integrative Genome Biology, University of California, Riverside, CA, 92521, USA.


In Arabidopsis, AUXIN RESPONSE FACTOR 3 (ARF3) belongs to the auxin response factor (ARF) family that regulates the expression of auxin-responsive genes. ARF3 is known to function in leaf polarity specification and gynoecium patterning. In this study, we discovered a previously unknown role for ARF3 in floral meristem (FM) determinacy through the isolation and characterization of a mutant of ARF3 that enhanced the FM determinacy defects of agamous (ag)-10, a weak ag allele. Central players in FM determinacy include WUSCHEL (WUS), a gene critical for FM maintenance, and AG and APETALA2 (AP2), which regulate FM determinacy by repression and promotion of WUS expression, respectively. We showed that ARF3 confers FM determinacy through repression of WUS expression, and associates with the WUS locus in part in an AG-dependent manner. We demonstrated that ARF3 is a direct target of AP2 and partially mediates AP2's function in FM determinacy. ARF3 exhibits dynamic and complex expression patterns in floral organ primordia; altering the patterns spatially compromised FM determinacy. This study uncovered a role for ARF3 in FM determinacy and revealed relationships among genes in the genetic network governing FM determinacy.


AGAMOUS; APETALA2; AUXIN RESPONSE FACTOR 3; Arabidopsis; WUSCHEL; floral determinacy

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