Observation of a differential expression pattern, including strong expression in meristematic tissue of an Agave tequilana GlsA/ZRF ortholog suggested an important role for this gene during bulbil formation and developmental changes in this species. In order to better understand this role, the two GlsA/ZFR orthologs present in the genome of Arabidopsis thaliana were functionally characterized by analyzing expression patterns, double mutant phenotypes, promoter-GUS fusions and expression of hormone related or meristem marker genes. Patterns of expression for A. thaliana show that GlsA/ZFR genes are strongly expressed in SAMs and RAMs in mature plants and developing embryos and double mutants showed multiple changes in morphology related to both SAM and RAM tissues. Typical double mutants showed stunted growth of aerial and root tissue, formation of multiple ectopic meristems and effects on cotyledons, leaves and flowers. The KNOX genes STM and BP were overexpressed in double mutants whereas CLV3, WUSCHEL and AS1 were repressed and lack of AtGlsA expression was also associated with changes in localization of auxin and cytokinin. These results suggest that GlsA/ZFR is an essential component of the machinery that maintains the integrity of SAM and RAM tissue and underline the potential to identify new genes or gene functions based on observations in non-model plants.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 29, 2016
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