Diversification of C-Function Activity in Maize Flower Development

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Science  29 Nov 1996:
Vol. 274, Issue 5292, pp. 1537-1540
DOI: 10.1126/science.274.5292.1537


The Arabidopsis gene AGAMOUS is required for male and female reproductive organ development and for floral determinacy. Reverse genetics allowed the isolation of a transposon-induced mutation in ZAG1, the maize homolog of AGAMOUS. ZAG1 mutants exhibited a loss of determinacy, but the identity of reproductive organs was largely unaffected. This suggested a redundancy in maize sex organ specification that led to the identification and cloning of a second AGAMOUS homolog, ZMM2, that has a pattern of expression distinct from that of ZAG1. C-function organ identity in maize (as defined by the A, B, C model of floral organ development) may therefore be orchestrated by two closely related genes, ZAG1 and ZMM2, with overlapping but nonidentical activities.

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