The ArabidopsisAGL9 MADS box gene is expressed in young flower primordia
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MADS box genes are likely involved in many different steps of plant development, since their RNAs accumulate in a wide variety of tissues, including roots, stems, leaves, flowers and embryos. In flowers, MADS box genes regulate the early step of specifying floral meristem identity as well as the later step of determining the fate of floral organ primordia. Here we describe the isolation and characterization of a new MADS box gene from Arabidopsis, AGL9. Sequence analyses indicate that AGL9 represents the putative ortholog of the FBP2 and TM5 genes from petunia and tomato, respectively. In situ hybridization analyses show that AGL9 RNA begins to accumulate after the onset of expression of the floral meristem identity genes, but before the activation of the organ identity genes. These data indicate that AGL9 functions early in flower development to mediate between the interaction of these two classes of genes. Later in flower development, AGL9 RNA accumulates in petals, stamens, and carpels, suggesting a role for AGL9 in controlling the development of these organs.
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