To understand better the role of genes in controlling ovule development, a female-sterile mutant, aintegumenta (ant), was isolated from Arabidopsis. In ovules of this mutant, integuments do not develop and megasporogenesis is blocked at the tetrad stage. As a pleiotropic effect, narrower floral organs arise in reduced numbers. More complete loss of floral organs occurs when the ant mutant is combined with the floral homeotic mutant apetala2, suggesting that the two genes share functions in initiating floral organ development. The ANT gene was cloned by transposon tagging, and sequence analysis showed that it is a member of the APETALA2-like family of transcription factor genes. The expression pattern of ANT in floral and vegetative tissues indicates that it is involved not only in the initiation of integuments but also in the initiation and early growth of all primorida except roots.
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