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Free Content ABERRANT PANICLE ORGANIZATION 2/RFL, the rice ortholog of Arabidopsis LEAFY, suppresses the transition from inflorescence meristem to floral meristem through interaction with APO1

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The temporal and spatial control of meristem identity is a key element in plant development. To better understand the molecular mechanisms that regulate inflorescence and flower architecture, we characterized the rice aberrant panicle organization 2 (apo2) mutant which exhibits small panicles with reduced number of primary branches due to the precocious formation of spikelet meristems. The apo2 mutants also display a shortened plastochron in the vegetative phase, late flowering, aberrant floral organ identities and loss of floral meristem determinacy. Map‐based cloning revealed that APO2 is identical to previously reported RFL gene, the rice ortholog of the Arabidopsis LEAFY (LFY) gene. Further analysis indicated that APO2/RFL and APO1, the rice ortholog of Arabidopsis UNUSUAL FLORAL ORGANS, act cooperatively to control inflorescence and flower development. The present study revealed functional differences between APO2/RFL and LFY. In particular, APO2/RFL and LFY act oppositely on inflorescence development. Therefore, the genetic mechanisms for controlling inflorescence architecture have evolutionarily diverged between rice (monocots) and Arabidopsis (eudicots).
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Graduate School of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Tokyo, Yayoi, Bunkyo, Tokyo 113-0032, Japan 2: National Institute for Bioresources, Okayama University, Kurashiki, Okayama 710-0046, Japan 3: National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8602, Japan

Publication date: January 1, 2012

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