Grass flower development

Hiro-Yuki Hirano, Wakana Tanaka, Taiyo Toriba
Methods in Molecular Biology 2014, 1110: 57-84
Grasses bear unique flowers lacking obvious petals and sepals in special inflorescence units, the florets and the spikelet. Despite this, grass floral organs such as stamens and lodicules (petal homologs) are specified by ABC homeotic genes encoding MADS domain transcription factors, suggesting that the ABC model of eudicot flower development is largely applicable to grass flowers. However, some modifications need to be made for the model to fit grasses well: for example, a YABBY gene plays an important role in carpel specification. In addition, a number of genes are involved in the development of the lateral organs that constitute the spikelet. In this review, we discuss recent progress in elucidating the genes required for flower and spikelet development in grasses, together with those involved in fate determination of the spikelet and flower meristems.

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