The predicted products of floral homeotic genes, AGAMOUS (AG) from Arabidopsis thaliana and DEFICIENS A (DEF A) from Antirrhinum majus, have been shown previously to share strong sequence similarity with transcription factors from humans (SRF) and yeast (MCM1). The conserved sequence between these proteins is localized within a domain known to be necessary for the DNA binding and for the dimerization of SRF. We have isolated six new genes from A. thaliana, AGL1-AGL6, which also have this conserved sequence motif. On the basis of the sequence comparison between the AG and AGL genes, they can be assigned to two subfamilies of a large gene family. RNA dot blot analysis indicates that five of these genes (AGL1, AGL2, AGL4, AGL5, and AGL6) are preferentially expressed in flowers. In addition, in situ RNA hybridization experiments with AGL1 and AGL2 show that their mRNAs are detected in some floral organs but not in others. Our results suggest that these genes may act to control many steps of Arabidopsis floral morphogenesis. In contrast, the AGL3 gene is expressed in vegetative tissues as well as in flowers, suggesting that it functions in a broader range of tissues. We discuss possible roles of this gene family during the evolution of flowers.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental Biology