Regulation of Inflorescence Architecture and Organ Shape by the ERECTA Gene in Arabidopsis
The architecture of higher plants is largely determined by the size, shape, and arrangement of the shoot organs that are formed in a reiterative manner by the shoot apical meristem. Immense variations in plant architecture, due to altered shape, size, and position of the individual shoot unit, has significance in adaptation as well as domestication of crop plants. The Arabidopsis erecta mutant displays a dramatic alteration in inflorescence architecture and organ shape. Morphometric analysis of representative erecta alleles with different severities revealed that ERECTA regulates pedicel length and plant size in a quantitative manner but has complex effects on floral organ size: The organs of erecta mutants contain a lesser number of larger, and isotropically expanded cortex cells, suggesting that ERECTA is required for a coordinated cell proliferation or cell expansion within the same tissue layer (i.e. cortex). The molecular identity of ERECTA as a leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinase (LRR-RLK) is consistent with its predicted role in cell-cell coordination.
KeywordsFloral Organ Shoot Apical Meristem Floral Meristem Pedicel Length Inflorescence Architecture
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