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Development. 1999 Feb;126(4):671-82.

Heterologous myb genes distinct from GL1 enhance trichome production when overexpressed in Nicotiana tabacum.

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Department of Botany, and Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78713, USA.


Myb-class transcription factors implicated in cell shape regulation were overexpressed in Arabidopsis thaliana and Nicotiana tabacum in an attempt to assess the extent to which cellular differentiation programs might be shared between these distantly related plants. GLABROUS 1, a myb gene required for trichome development in Arabidopsis, did not alter the trichome phenotype of the tobacco plants in which it was overexpressed. MIXTA, which in Antirrhinum majus is reported to regulate certain aspects of floral papillae development, did not complement the glabrous 1 mutant of Arabidopsis. However, 35S:MIXTA transformants of N. tabacum displayed various developmental abnormalities, most strikingly production of supernumerary trichomes on cotyledons, leaves and stems. In addition, floral papillae were converted to multicellular trichomes. CotMYBA, a myb gene which is expressed in Gossypium hirsutum ovules and has some homology to MIXTA, was also overexpressed in the two species. A similar but distinct syndrome of abnormalities, including the production of cotyledonary trichomes, was observed in 35S:CotMYBA tobacco transformants. However, CotMYBA did not alter trichome production in Arabidopsis. These results suggest that the trichomes of Arabidopsis and Nicotiana are merely analogous structures, and that the myb genes regulating their differentiation are specific and separate.

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