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Free Content ABERRANT TESTA SHAPE encodes a KANADI family member, linking polarity determination to separation and growth of Arabidopsis ovule integuments

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The Arabidopsis aberrant testa shape (ats) mutant produces a single integument instead of the two integuments seen in wild‐type ovules. Cellular anatomy and patterns of marker gene expression indicate that the single integument results from congenital fusion of the two integuments of the wild type. Isolation of the ATS locus showed it to encode a member of the KANADI (KAN) family of putative transcription factors, previously referred to as KAN4. ATS was expressed at the border between the two integuments at the time of their initiation, with expression later confined to the abaxial layer of the inner integument. In an inner no outer (ino) mutant background, where an outer integument does not form, the ats mutation led to amorphous inner integument growth. The kan1 kan2 double mutant exhibits a similar amorphous growth of the outer integument without affecting inner integument growth. We hypothesize that ATS and KAN1/KAN2 play similar roles in the specification of polarity in the inner and outer integuments, respectively, that parallel the known roles of KAN proteins in promoting abaxial identity during leaf development. INO and other members of the YABBY gene family have been hypothesized to have similar parallel roles in outer integument and leaf development. Together, these two hypotheses lead us to propose a model for normal integument growth that also explains the described mutant phenotypes.
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Keywords: dormancy; organ fusion; polarity; reproductive development; seed

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Sections of Molecular and Cellular Biology 2: Plant Biology, University of California, 1 Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616, USA, and 3: Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA

Publication date: May 1, 2006

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