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Auxin signaling modules regulate maize inflorescence architecture.

TitleAuxin signaling modules regulate maize inflorescence architecture.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsShpak ED, Lakeman MB, Torii KU, Meyer NP, Trinh K, Storm DR, Takemaru K-I, Yamaguchi S, Lee Y S, Zhang Y, Carthew RW
JournalProc Natl Acad Sci U S A
Start Page13372-7
Date Published10/2015

In plants, small groups of pluripotent stem cells called axillary meristems are required for the formation of the branches and flowers that eventually establish shoot architecture and drive reproductive success. To ensure the proper formation of new axillary meristems, the specification of boundary regions is required for coordinating their development. We have identified two maize genes, BARREN INFLORESCENCE1 and BARREN INFLORESCENCE4 (BIF1 and BIF4), that regulate the early steps required for inflorescence formation. BIF1 and BIF4 encode AUXIN/INDOLE-3-ACETIC ACID (Aux/IAA) proteins, which are key components of the auxin hormone signaling pathway that is essential for organogenesis. Here we show that BIF1 and BIF4 are integral to auxin signaling modules that dynamically regulate the expression of BARREN STALK1 (BA1), a basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcriptional regulator necessary for axillary meristem formation that shows a striking boundary expression pattern. These findings suggest that auxin signaling directly controls boundary domains during axillary meristem formation and define a fundamental mechanism that regulates inflorescence architecture in one of the most widely grown crop species.

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