Submitted to: Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: 1) Rationale: The goal of this study was to describe a new mutation in corn named crinkly4, isolate the gene responsible for this mutation, and determine its function in the corn plant. 2) Accomplishments: The cells on the surface of normal leaves form a distinct surface boundary and help maintain the integrity of the leaf. The cells on the surface of the leaves of crinkly4 mutant plants stick to the cells on the surface of other leaves, causing the leaves to tear as they unfold. The cells on the surface of mutant kernels are also abnormal. The crinkly4 gene was isolated, and it was found to have similarities with genes in animals that allow cells to recognize each other, transmit signals to each other, and coordinate their growth and development. 3) Significance: Studies of the crinkly4 gene will help scientists determine how plant cells recognize each other and coordinate their growth so that a normal plant develops.
Technical Abstract: The maize crinkly4 (cr4) mutation affects leaf epidermis differentiation such that cell size and morphology are altered, and surface functions are compromised allowing graft-like fusions between organs. In the seed, loss of cr4 inhibits aleurone formation in a pattern that reflects the normal progression of differentiation over the developing endosperm surface. The cr4 gene was isolated by transposon tagging and encodes a putative receptor kinase. The extracellular domain contains a cysteine-rich region similar to the ligand binding domain in mammalian tumor necrosis factor receptors (TNFRs) and seven copies of a novel 39 amino acid repeat. The results suggest a role for cr4 in a differentiation signal.