Journal Article

Conservation and Diversification of Meristem Maintenance Mechanism in <i>Oryza sativa</i>: Function of the <i>FLORAL ORGAN NUMBER2</i> Gene

Takuya Suzaki, Taiyo Toriba, Masaru Fujimoto, Nobuhiro Tsutsumi, Hidemi Kitano and Hiro-Yuki Hirano

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 47, issue 12, pages 1591-1602
Published in print December 2006 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online December 2006 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI:
Conservation and Diversification of Meristem Maintenance Mechanism in Oryza sativa: Function of the FLORAL ORGAN NUMBER2 Gene

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  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry


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To elucidate the genetic mechanism that regulates meristem maintenance in monocots, here we have examined the function of the gene FLORAL ORGAN NUMBER2 (FON2) in Oryza sativa (rice). Mutations in FON2 cause enlargement of the floral meristem, resulting in an increase in the number of floral organs, although the vegetative and inflorescence meristems are largely normal. Molecular cloning reveals that FON2 encodes a small secreted protein, containing a CLE domain, that is closely related to CLAVATA3 in Arabidopsis thaliana. FON2 transcripts are localized at the apical region in all meristems in the aerial parts of rice plants, showing an expression pattern similar to that of Arabidopsis CLV3. Constitutive expression of FON2 causes a reduction in the number of floral organs and flowers, suggesting that both the flower and inflorescence meristems are reduced in size. This action of FON2 requires the function of FON1, an ortholog of CLV1. Constitutive expression of FON2 also causes premature termination of the shoot apical meristem in Arabidopsis, a phenotype similar to that caused by constitutive expression of CLV3. Together with our previous study of FON1, these results clearly indicate that the FON1–FON2 system in rice corresponds to the CLV signaling system in Arabidopsis and suggest that the negative regulation of stem cell identity by these systems may be principally conserved in a wide range of plants within the Angiosperms. In addition, we propose a model of the genetic regulation of meristem maintenance in rice that includes an alternative pathway independent of FON2–FON1.

Keywords: CLAVATA signaling pathway; CLE domain; FLORAL ORGAN NUMBER (FON) gene; Meristem maintenance; Oryza sativa (rice)

Journal Article.  6957 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biochemistry ; Molecular and Cell Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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