Mutations in CUC1 and CUC2 (for CUP-SHAPED COTYLEDON), which are newly identified genes of Arabidopsis, caused defects in the separation of cotyledons (embryonic organs), sepals, and stamens (floral organs) as well as in the formation of shoot apical meristems. These defects were most apparent in the double mutant. Phenotypes of the mutants suggest a common mechanism for separating adjacent organs within the same whorl in both embryos and flowers. We cloned the CUC2 gene and found that the encoded protein was homologous to the petunia NO APICAL MERISTEM (NAM) protein, which is thought to act in the development of embryos and flowers.
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