Genetic networks regulated by ASYMMETRIC LEAVES1 (AS1) and AS2 in leaf development in Arabidopsis thaliana: KNOX genes control five morphological events

Masaya Ikezaki, Mikiko Kojima, Hitoshi Sakakibara, Shoko Kojima, Yoshihisa Ueno, Chiyoko Machida, Yasunori Machida
Plant Journal 2010, 61 (1): 70-82
The asymmetric leaves 1 (as1) and as2 mutants of Arabidopsis thaliana exhibit pleiotropic phenotypes. Expression of a number of genes, including three class-1 KNOTTED-like homeobox (KNOX) genes (BP, KNAT2 and KNAT6) and ETTIN/ARF3, is enhanced in these mutants. In the present study, we attempted to identify the phenotypic features of as1 and as2 mutants that were generated by ectopic expression of KNOX genes, using multiple loss-of-function mutations of KNOX genes as well as as1 and as2. Our results revealed that the ectopic expression of class-1 KNOX genes resulted in reductions in the sizes of leaves, reductions in the size of sepals and petals, the formation of a less prominent midvein, the repression of adventitious root formation and late flowering. Our results also revealed that the reduction in leaf size and late flowering were caused by the repression, by KNOX genes, of a gibberellin (GA) pathway in as1 and as2 plants. The formation of a less prominent midvein and the repression of adventitious root formation were not, however, related to the GA pathway. The asymmetric formation of leaf lobes, the lower complexity of higher-ordered veins, and the elevated frequency of adventitious shoot formation on leaves of as1 and as2 plants were not rescued by multiple mutations in KNOX genes. These features must, therefore, be controlled by other genes in which expression is enhanced in the as1 and as2 mutants.

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