Cloning and molecular analysis of the Arabidopsis gene Terminal Flower 1
The Arabidopsis gene Terminal Flower 1 (TFL1) controls inflorescence meristem identity. A terminal flower (tfl1) mutant, which develops a terminal flower at the apex of the inflorescence, was induced by transformation with T-DNA. Using a plant DNA fragment flanking the integrated T-DNA as a probe, a clone was selected from a wild-type genomic library. Comparative sequence analysis of this clone with an EST clone (129D7T7) suggested the existence of a gene encoding a protein similar to that encoded by the cen gene which controls inflorescence meristem identity in Antirrhinum. Nucleotide sequences of the region homologous to this putative TFL1 gene were compared between five chemically induced tfl1 mutants and their parental wild-type ecotypes. Every mutant was found to have a nucleotide substitution which could be responsible for the tfl1 phenotype. This result confirmed that the cloned gene is TFL1 itself. In our tfl1 mutant, no nucleotide substitution was found in the transcribed region of the gene, and the T-DNA-insertion site was located at 458 bp downstream of the putative polyadenylation signal, suggesting that an element important for expression of the TFL1 gene exists in this area.
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