Research Article

Central European Journal of Biology

, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 263-274

First online:

How repeated epiphylly correlates with gene expression of resident knox1 in the leaves of tobacco epiphyllous shoots

  • Kai J. MüllerAffiliated withFraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology (IME)
  • , Jinxing LinAffiliated withInstitute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • , Rainer FischerAffiliated withFraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology (IME)
  • , Dirk PrüferAffiliated withInstitute for Biochemistry and Biotechnology of Plants, University of Münster

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The tobacco knox1 genes tokn1 and tokn2 were isolated and their neomorphic capacities were tested while expressed in tobacco and potato. In addition, their neomorphic capacities were compared to barley bkn3 transgenic plant material. While tokn2 and bkn3 induced epiphylly in tobacco and supercompound leaves in potato, tokn1 failed to produce such prominent knox1 specific phenotypes. In wild type tobacco, alleles of the tokn genes were found to be expressed within distinct zones of the shoot apical meristem (SAM), leaving out regions that correlated with leaf founder cells [1]. In contrast, the expression of the tokn genes was detected throughout the meristem and in leaf primordia of epiphyllous shoots that developed in tobacco over-expressing the barley hooded gene bkn3. It was determined that such extended expression domains of resident tobacco knox1 genes were mediated through an enhanced expression domain of bkn3 within the tissue confined to the epiphylls, and this contributed to “repeated epiphylly”, i.e. an iterated development of epiphyllous shoots on leaves of progenitor epiphylls.


Leaf development epiphylly compound leaf plant unit iteration Hooded