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Genetics. 2000 Jul;155(3):1379-89.

The narrow sheath duplicate genes: sectors of dual aneuploidy reveal ancestrally conserved gene functions during maize leaf development.

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Botany Department, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602, USA.


The narrow sheath mutant of maize displays a leaf and plant stature phenotype controlled by the duplicate factor mutations narrow sheath1 and narrow sheath2. Mutant leaves fail to develop a lateral domain that includes the leaf margins. Genetic data are presented to show that the narrow sheath mutations map to duplicated chromosomal regions, reflecting an ancestral duplication of the maize genome. Genetic and cytogenetic evidence indicates that the original mutation at narrow sheath2 is associated with a chromosomal inversion on the long arm of chromosome 4. Meristematic sectors of dual aneuploidy were generated, producing plants genetically mosaic for NARROW SHEATH function. These mosaic plants exhibited characteristic half-plant phenotypes, in which leaves from one side of the plant were of nonmutant morphology and leaves from the opposite side were of narrow sheath mutant phenotype. The data suggest that the narrow sheath duplicate genes may perform ancestrally conserved, redundant functions in the development of a lateral domain in the maize leaf.

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