, Volume 67, Issue 1-2, pp 183-195,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 17 Feb 2008

The microRNA regulated SBP-box genes SPL9 and SPL15 control shoot maturation in Arabidopsis

Abstract

Throughout development the Arabidopsis shoot apical meristem successively undergoes several major phase transitions such as the juvenile-to-adult and floral transitions until, finally, it will produce flowers instead of leaves and shoots. Members of the Arabidopsis SBP-box gene family of transcription factors have been implicated in promoting the floral transition in dependence of miR156 and, accordingly, transgenics constitutively over-expressing this microRNA are delayed in flowering. To elaborate their roles in Arabidopsis shoot development, we analysed two of the 11 miR156 regulated Arabidopsis SBP-box genes, i.e. the likely paralogous genes SPL9 and SPL15. Single and double mutant phenotype analysis showed these genes to act redundantly in controlling the juvenile-to-adult phase transition. In addition, their loss-of-function results in a shortened plastochron during vegetative growth, altered inflorescence architecture and enhanced branching. In these aspects, the double mutant partly phenocopies constitutive MIR156b over-expressing transgenic plants and thus a major contribution to the phenotype of these transgenics as a result of the repression of SPL9 and SPL15 is strongly suggested.