Gene duplication at the Fascicled ear1 locus controls the fate of inflorescence meristem cells in maize.

Du, Yanfang, Lunde, China, Li, Yunfu, Jackson, David, Hake, Sarah, Zhang, Zuxin (February 2021) Gene duplication at the Fascicled ear1 locus controls the fate of inflorescence meristem cells in maize. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of USA, 118 (7). e2019218118-e2019218118. ISSN 0027-8424

DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2019218118


Plant meristems are self-renewing groups of pluripotent stem cells that produce lateral organs in a stereotypical pattern. Of interest is how the radially symmetrical meristem produces laminar lateral organs. Both the male and female inflorescence meristems of the dominant Fascicled ear (Fas1) mutant fail to grow as a single point and instead show deep branching. Positional cloning of two independent Fas1 alleles identified an ∼160 kb region containing two floral genes, the MADS-box gene, zmm8, and the YABBY gene, drooping leaf2 (drl2). Both genes are duplicated within the Fas1 locus and spatiotemporally misexpressed in the mutant inflorescence meristems. Increased zmm8 expression alone does not affect inflorescence development; however, combined misexpression of zmm8, drl2, and their syntenic paralogs zmm14 and drl1, perturbs meristem organization. We hypothesize that misexpression of the floral genes in the inflorescence and their potential interaction cause ectopic activation of a laminar program, thereby disrupting signaling necessary for maintenance of radially symmetrical inflorescence meristems. Consistent with this hypothesis, RNA sequencing and in situ analysis reveal altered expression patterns of genes that define distinct zones of the meristem and developing leaf. Our findings highlight the importance of strict spatiotemporal patterns of expression for both zmm8 and drl2 and provide an example of phenotypes arising from tandem gene duplications.

Item Type: Paper
Subjects: organism description > plant > maize
bioinformatics > genomics and proteomics > genetics & nucleic acid processing > DNA, RNA structure, function, modification > genes, structure and function > gene expression
organs, tissues, organelles, cell types and functions > tissues types and functions > meristem
Investigative techniques and equipment > assays > RNA-seq
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL labs > Jackson lab
SWORD Depositor: CSHL Elements
Depositing User: CSHL Elements
Date: 16 February 2021
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2021 20:42
Last Modified: 30 Apr 2021 20:42
PMCID: PMC7896288

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