Submitted to: Development
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/3/2005
Publication Date: 2/15/2005
Citation: Bommert, P., Lunde, C., Nardmann, J., Vollbrecht, E., Running, M., Jackson, D., Hake, S.C., Werr, W. 2005. Thick tassel dwarf1 encodes a putative maize ortholog of the Arabidopsis CLAVATAL1 leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinase. Development. 132:1235-1245. Interpretive Summary: Development in higher plants depends on the activity of meristems, formative regions that continuously initiate new organs at their flanks. Meristems must maintain a balance between stem cell renewal and organ initiation. In fasciated mutants, organ initiation fails to keep pace with meristem proliferation. The thick tassel dwarf1 (td1) mutation of maize affects both male and female inflorescence development. The female inflorescence, which results in the ear, is fasciated, with extra rows of kernels. The male inflorescence, or tassel, shows an increase in spikelet density. Floral meristems are also affected in td1 mutants; for example, male florets have an increase in stamen number. These results suggest that td1 functions in the inflorescence to limit meristem size. In addition, td1 mutants are slightly shorter than normal siblings, indicating that td1 also plays a role in vegetative development. The td1 gene was isolated and shown to encode a receptor-like kinase.
Technical Abstract: The td1 gene in maize regulates meristem size. td1 encodes a leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinase (LRR-RLK) that is a putative ortholog of the Arabidopsis CLAVATA1 protein. These results complement previous work showing that fasciated ear2 encodes a CLAVATA2-like protein, and suggest that the CLAVATA signaling pathway is conserved in monocots. td1 maps in the vicinity of quantitative trait loci that affect seed row number, spikelet density and plant height.