, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 657-665

Early flowering and reduced apical dominance result from ectopic expression of a rice MADS box gene

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Abstract

Recent studies with dicot plants reveal that floral organ development is controlled by a group of regulatory factors containing the MADS domain. In this study, we have isolated and characterized a cDNA clone from rice, OsMADS1, which encodes a MADS-domain-containing protein. The OsMADS1 amino acid sequence shows 56.2% identity to AGL2 and 44,4% identity to AP1. The MADS box region was the most homologous to other MADS-domain-containing proteins. Northern blot analysis indicated that the rice MADS gene was preferentially expressed in floral organs. In situ localization studies showed that the transcript was uniformly present in young flower primordia and later became localized in palea, lemma, and ovary. Ectopic expression of OsMADS1 with the CaMV 35S promoter in transgenic tobacco plants dramatically alters development, resulting in short, bushy, early-flowering plants with reduced apical dominance. These results suggest that the OsMADS1 gene is involved in flower induction and that it may be used for genetic manipulation of certain plant species.