Journal of Plant Research

, Volume 132, Issue 4, pp 521–529 | Cite as

Expression pattern of CUC3 ortholog in Zeylanidium tailichenoides (Podostemaceae) infers organization of a unique distichous shoot in Podostemoideae

  • Natsu KatayamaEmail author
  • Rie Tanaka
  • Rieko Fujinami
  • Ryoko Imaichi
Regular Paper


Shoots of the aquatic eudicot family, Podostemaceae, exhibit unusual organogenesis with mixed leaf and stem identities. New shoots arise at the base of the older shoot with shoot apical meristem (SAM) identity but the entire SAM differentiates into a “leaf” as it develops in the Podostemoideae subfamily. The “leaves” are tightly arranged in a zigzag manner to form an apparent distichous shoot as a whole. Although previous studies have suggested that Podostemoideae shoots have evolved by modifying the ancestral sympodial branching system in the basal Tristichoideae subfamily, this evolutionary scenario requires elucidation at the molecular level. To confirm that the shoots arise as axillary shoots, in the present study, we examined gene expression patterns in plumular shoots of Zeylanidium tailichenoides using CUP-SHAPED COTYLEDON 3 (CUC3) and SHOOT MERISTEMLESS (STM) orthologs, which are involved in the determination of axils and meristem formation in model plants. Expression of the CUC3 ortholog was detected at the adaxial base of cotyledons and parental shoots where the new shoots are initiated, while STM ortholog was expressed at the initiation site and in the young shoot primordia throughout early shoot development. The results demonstrate that each Z. tailichenoides shoot arises as an axillary bud in a manner similar to axillary meristem formation in model plants involving CUC3 and STM genes. Considering that each of the two cotyledons produces an axillary bud that in turn continues to form its own axillary bud independently, the apparent distichous shoot in Z.tailichenoides is not a single shoot, but a composite of two sympodially branched shoots.


Axillary buds CUC3 Podostemaceae Shoot apical meristem STM Sympodial branching 



The authors would like to thank T. Wongprasert, M. Kato and S. Koi for their help during the collection trips in Thailand. We thank Y. Hirayama for providing a part of anatomical data. This study was supported by a Research Fellowship to N.K. and a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research to M.K. from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

Supplementary material

10265_2019_1113_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (3.5 mb)
Supplementary file1 (PDF 3584 kb)


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Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Japan and Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Natsu Katayama
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rie Tanaka
    • 2
  • Rieko Fujinami
    • 3
  • Ryoko Imaichi
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biology, Faculty of ScienceChiba UniversityChibaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Chemical and Biological Sciences, Faculty of ScienceJapan Women’s UniversityTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Department of SciencesKyoto University of EducationKyotoJapan

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