AINTEGUMENTA-LIKE6 regulates cellular differentiation in flowers
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During flower development, pluripotent stem cells within the floral meristem give rise to proliferative precursor cells whose progeny eventually acquire specialized functions within each floral organ. The regulatory mechanisms by which plant cells transition from a proliferating state to a differentiated state are not well characterized. Several members of the AINTEGUMENTA-LIKE/PLETHORA (AIL/PLT) transcription factor family, including AINTEGUMENTA (ANT) and AIL6/PLT3, are important regulators of cell proliferation in flowers. To further investigate the role of AIL6 during flower development, we have characterized transgenic plants in which the coding region of AIL6 was expressed under the control of the constitutive 35S promoter (35S:cAIL6). These plants display changes in floral organ size and morphology that are associated with alterations in the pattern and duration of cell divisions within developing organs. In addition, we find that very high levels of AIL6 expression inhibit cellular differentiation. In contrast, ant ail6 double mutants display premature differentiation of floral meristem cells. These results indicate that these two transcription factors regulate both proliferation and differentiation in flowers.
KeywordsArabidopsis Flower development Differentiation AP2/ERF AIL/PLT Organogenesis
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