Although several members of the AP2/ERF family of transcription factors are important developmental regulators in plants, many genes in this large protein family remain uncharacterized. Here, we present a phylogenetic analysis of the 18 genes that make up the AP2 subgroup of this family. We report expression analyses of seven Arabidopsis genes most closely related to the floral development gene AINTEGUMENTA (ANT) and show that all AINTEGUMENTA-like (AIL) genes are transcribed in multiple tissues during development. They are expressed primarily in young actively dividing tissues of a plant and not in mature leaves or stems. The spatial distribution of AIL5, AIL6, and AIL7 mRNA in inflorescences was characterized by in situ hybridization. Each of these genes is expressed in a spatially and temporally distinct pattern within inflorescence meristems and flowers. Ectopic expression of AIL5 resulted in a larger floral organ phenotype, similar to that resulting from ectopic expression of ANT. Our results are consistent with AIL genes having roles in specification of meristematic or division-competent states.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 21, 2005
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