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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Oct 27;112(43):13372-7. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1516473112. Epub 2015 Oct 13.

Auxin signaling modules regulate maize inflorescence architecture.

Author information

1
Waksman Institute, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ 08854-8020;
2
Department of Biology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195;
3
Department of Biological Sciences, California State University, Long Beach, CA 90840; Division of Environmental Biology, National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA 22230;
4
Section of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0116;
5
Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Johnston, IA 50131;
6
Waksman Institute, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ 08854-8020; Department of Plant Biology and Pathology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901 agallavotti@waksman.rutgers.edu.

Abstract

In plants, small groups of pluripotent stem cells called axillary meristems are required for the formation of the branches and flowers that eventually establish shoot architecture and drive reproductive success. To ensure the proper formation of new axillary meristems, the specification of boundary regions is required for coordinating their development. We have identified two maize genes, BARREN INFLORESCENCE1 and BARREN INFLORESCENCE4 (BIF1 and BIF4), that regulate the early steps required for inflorescence formation. BIF1 and BIF4 encode AUXIN/INDOLE-3-ACETIC ACID (Aux/IAA) proteins, which are key components of the auxin hormone signaling pathway that is essential for organogenesis. Here we show that BIF1 and BIF4 are integral to auxin signaling modules that dynamically regulate the expression of BARREN STALK1 (BA1), a basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcriptional regulator necessary for axillary meristem formation that shows a striking boundary expression pattern. These findings suggest that auxin signaling directly controls boundary domains during axillary meristem formation and define a fundamental mechanism that regulates inflorescence architecture in one of the most widely grown crop species.

KEYWORDS:

auxin signaling; axillary meristems; boundary domains; inflorescence development; maize

PMID:
26464512
PMCID:
PMC4629326
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1516473112
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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