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Commun Biol. 2019 Mar 25;2:114. doi: 10.1038/s42003-019-0354-1. eCollection 2019.

Tasselseed5 overexpresses a wound-inducible enzyme, ZmCYP94B1, that affects jasmonate catabolism, sex determination, and plant architecture in maize.

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1University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 USA.
2Plant Gene Expression Center, U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, 800 Buchanan Street, Albany, CA 94710 USA.
3Department of Biochemistry, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211 USA.
4Interdisciplinary Plant Group, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211 USA.


Maize is monecious, with separate male and female inflorescences. Maize flowers are initially bisexual but achieve separate sexual identities through organ arrest. Loss-of-function mutants in the jasmonic acid (JA) pathway have only female flowers due to failure to abort silks in the tassel. Tasselseed5 (Ts5) shares this phenotype but is dominant. Positional cloning and transcriptomics of tassels identified an ectopically expressed gene in the CYP94B subfamily, Ts5 (ZmCYP94B1). CYP94B enzymes are wound inducible and inactivate bioactive jasmonoyl-L-isoleucine (JA-Ile). Consistent with this result, tassels and wounded leaves of Ts5 mutants displayed lower JA and JA-lle precursors and higher 12OH-JA-lle product than the wild type. Furthermore, many wounding and jasmonate pathway genes were differentially expressed in Ts5 tassels. We propose that the Ts5 phenotype results from the interruption of JA signaling during sexual differentiation via the upregulation of ZmCYP94B1 and that its proper expression maintains maize monoecy.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no competing interests.

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