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Sang X.,China National Rice Research Institute | Sang X.,Chongqing Key Laboratory of Application and Safety Control of Genetically Modified Crops | Li Y.,China National Rice Research Institute | Li Y.,Chongqing Key Laboratory of Application and Safety Control of Genetically Modified Crops | And 14 more authors.
Plant Physiology | Year: 2012

The control of floral organ identity by homeotic MADS box genes is well established in eudicots. However, grasses have highly specialized outer floral organs, and the identities of the genes that regulate the highly specialized outer floral organs of grasses remain unclear. In this study, we characterized a MIKC-type MADS box gene, CHIMERIC FLORAL ORGANS (CFO1), which plays a key role in the regulation of floral organ identity in rice (Oryza sativa). The cfo1 mutant displayed defective marginal regions of the palea, chimeric floral organs, and ectopic floral organs. Map-based cloning demonstrated that CFO1 encoded the OsMADS32 protein. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that CFO1/OsMADS32 belonged to a monocot-specific clade in the MIKC-type MADS box gene family. The expression domains of CFO1 were mainly restricted to the marginal region of the palea and inner floral organs. The floral organ identity gene DROOPING LEAF (DL) was expressed ectopically in all defective organs of cfo1 flowers. Double mutant analysis revealed that loss of DL function mitigated some of the defects of floral organs in cfo1 flowers. We propose that the CFO1 gene plays a pivotal role in maintaining floral organ identity through negative regulation of DL expression. © 2012 American Society of Plant Biologists.

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