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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Plant Gene Expression Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #253421

Title: The maize milkweed pod1 mutant reveals a mechanism to modify organ morphology

item Johnston, Robyn
item Candela, Hector
item Hake, Sarah
item Foster, Toshi

Submitted to: Genesis
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/26/2010
Publication Date: 3/8/2010
Publication URL:
Citation: Johnston, R., Candela, H., Hake, S.C., Foster, T. 2010. The maize milkweed pod1 mutant reveals a mechanism to modify organ morphology. Genesis. Published online 10.1002/dvg.20622.

Interpretive Summary: Plant lateral organs, such as leaves, have three primary axes of growth - proximal-distal, medial-lateral and adaxial-abaxial (dorsal-ventral). Although most leaves are planar, modified leaf forms, such as the bikeeled grass prophyll, can be found in nature. We propose that the adaxial-abaxial patterning mechanism has been co-opted during evolution to generate diverse organ morphologies such as the maize prophyl.

Technical Abstract: A detailed examination of normal prophyll development indicates that polarity is established differently in the keels than in other parts of the prophyll. Analysis of the maize HD-ZIPIII gene rolled leaf1 (rld1) suggests that altered expression patterns are responsible for keel outgrowth. Recessive mutations in the maize (Zea mays) KANADI (KAN) gene milkweed pod1 (mwp1), which promotes abaxial cell identity, strongly affect development of the prophyll and silks (fused carpels). The prophyll is reduced to two unfused midribs and the silks are narrow and misshapen. Our data indicate that the prophyll and other fused organs are particularly sensitive to disruptions in adaxial-abaxial polarity. In addition, lateral and proximal-distal growth of most lateral organs is reduced in the mwp1-R mutant, supporting a role for the adaxial-abaxial boundary in promoting growth along both axes.