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Most of the world's food supply is derived from cereal grains that are borne in a unique structure called the spikelet, the fundamental unit of inflorescence architecture in all grasses.branched silkless1 (bd1) is a maize mutation that alters the identity of the spikelet meristem, causing indeterminate branches to form in place of spikelets. We show that bd1encodes a putative ERF transcription factor that is conserved in different grasses and is expressed in a distinct domain of the spikelet meristem. Its expression pattern suggests that signaling pathways regulate meristem identity from lateral domains of the spikelet meristem.
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