POSTDOC DR NOBUTOSHI YAMAGUCHI OBTAINS A TRAVEL GRANT TO ATTEND PLANT BIOLOGY 2013

A classical role of the hormone auxin is in the formation of flowers at the periphery of the reproductive shoot apex. InArabidopsis, mutants in regulators of polar auxin transport or in the auxin responsive transcription factor MONOPTEROS (MP) form naked inflorescence ‘pins’ lacking flowers. How auxin maxima and MP direct initiation of flower primordia is poorly understood. We have identified three genes whose expression is directly induced by auxin-activated MP that furthermore jointly regulate flower primordium initiation. These three genes encode known regulators of flower development; LEAFY (LFY), which specifies floral fate and two AINTEGUMENTA and AINTEGUMENTA –LIKE6/PLETHORA3 transcription factors, key regulators of floral growth. These and additional findings that will be presented demonstrate a mechanistic link between flower primordium initiation and subsequent steps in flower morphogenesis. We further uncovered direct positive feedback from LFY to the auxin pathway. We will discuss a possible role for the newly identified ‘auxin LFY’ module in patterning organ systems in diverse plant species.

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