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Cell. 1995 Dec 1;83(5):735-42.

The BELL1 gene encodes a homeodomain protein involved in pattern formation in the Arabidopsis ovule primordium.

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Department of Plant Biology, University of California, Berkeley 94720, USA.


Ovule development in Arabidopsis involves the formation of three morphologically defined proximal-distal pattern elements. Integuments arise from the central pattern element. Analysis of Bell 1 (Bel 1) mutant ovules indicated that BEL1 was required for integument development. Cloning of the BEL1 locus reveals that it encodes a homeodomain transcription factor. Prior to integument initiation, BEL1 RNA localizes to the central domain, providing molecular evidence for a central pattern element. Therefore, proximal-distal patterning of the ovule involves the regulated expression of the BEL1 gene that controls integument morphogenesis. A model for BEL1 function is evaluated with regard to new data showing the expression pattern of the floral homeotic gene AGAMOUS (AG) early in wild-type and BEL1 ovule development.

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