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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1999 Jan 5;96(1):296-301.

Genes controlling fertilization-independent seed development in Arabidopsis thaliana.

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  • 1Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Plant Industry, GPO Box 1600, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia.


We have cloned two genes, FIS1 and FIS2, that control both fertilization independent seed development and postpollination embryo development in Arabidopsis. These genes confer female gametophytic phenotypes. FIS2 encodes a protein with a C2H2 zinc-finger motif and three putative nuclear localization signals, indicating that it is likely to be a transcription factor. FIS1 encodes a protein with homology to the Drosophila Polycomb group gene Enhancer-of-zeste and is identical to the recently described Arabidopsis gene MEDEA. FIS1 is a protein with a number of putative functional domains, including the SET domain present in Enhancer-of-zeste-related proteins. Comparison of the position of the lesions in the fis1 and medea mutant alleles indicates that fis1 is a null allele producing a truncated polypeptide lacking all the protein domains whereas the deduced protein from medea lacks only the SET domain. We present a model of the role of FIS1 and FIS2 gene products in seed development.

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