Determinate growth of floral meristems in Arabidopsis requires the function of the floral regulatory gene AGAMOUS (AG). Expression of AG mRNA in the central region of floral meristems relies on the partially overlapping functions of the LEAFY (LFY) and APETALA1 (AP1) genes, which promote initial floral meristem identity. Here, we provide evidence that AG function is required for the final definition of floral meristem identity and that constitutive AG function can promote, independent of LFY and AP1 functions, the determinate floral state in the center of reproductive meristems. Loss-of-function analysis showed that the indeterminate central region of the eg mutant floral meristem undergoes conversion to an inflorescence meristem when long-day-dependent flowering stimulus is removed. Furthermore, gain of-function analysis demonstrated that ectopic AG function results in precocious flowering and the formation of terminal flowers at apices of both the primary inflorescence and axillary branches of transgenic Arabidopsis plants in which AG expression is under the control of the 35S promoter from cauliflower mosaic virus. Similar phenotypes were also observed in lfy ap1 double mutants carrying a 35S-AG transgene. Together, these results indicate that AG is a principal developmental switch that controls the transition of meristem activity from indeterminate to determinate.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science
- Cell Biology