Plant Molecular Biology

, Volume 62, Issue 6, pp 913–925 | Cite as

The FEATHERED gene is required for polarity establishment in lateral organs especially flowers of the Japanese morning glory (I pomoea nil )

  • Mayumi Iwasaki
  • Eiji Nitasaka


Most strains harboring the feathered (fe) mutation in the Japanese morning glory (Ipomoea nil or Pharbitis nil) show deformed phenotypes such as upcurled leaves and separated or tubular petals. These phenotypes seem to be caused by loss of abaxial identity in lateral organs. The FE gene was isolated using the inserted transposon as a tag. An En/Spm-related transposable element, Tpn102, inserted in the fourth intron of the FE gene, was responsible for the fe mutation. FE encodes a GARP transcription factor closely related to Arabidopsis KANADI1 (KAN1), which promotes an abaxial cell fate. Genetic analyses and molecular studies, which showed that all fe mutant strains have the same fe allele despite their phenotypic differences, revealed that fe strains with strong phenotypes have additional mutations enhancing the fe phenotype. These findings and historical records of fe phenotypes suggest that these enhancer mutations were accumulated in the fe background during selection for strong phenotypes. The mutant phenotypes and molecular analysis of fe strains suggest that FE regulates the abaxial identity of lateral organs redundantly with modifier genes, as KAN1 does in Arabidopsis. FE, however, affects flower phenotype even in the single mutant unlike KAN1, moreover, modifier mutations affect flower phenotype only in the fe mutant background, suggesting that FE may play a more crucial role in promotion of abaxial cell fate in flowers of the Japanese morning glory.


FEATHERED KANADI Ipomoea nil Japanese morning glory En/Spm Tpn1 family 



We thank E. Kikuchi and K. Tsuji for providing fe revertant plants, Y. Toh for help with SEM analysis, and S. Iida, T. Tsurimoto, K. Iba and C. Machida for helpful discussions. We also thank National BioResource Project (NBRP; morning glory) for the mutant strains. This study was supported by PRESTO, Japan Science and Technology Corporation, and grants (Nos. 15570007 and Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Priority Areas (C) Genome Science) from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan.

Supplementary material


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological ScienceGraduate School of Science, Kyushu UniversityHigashi-ku, FukuokaJapan

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