Specific expression of the AGL1 MADS-box gene suggests regulatory functions in Arabidopsis gynoecium and ovule development

Catherine A. Flanagan, Yi Hu, Hong Ma

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Several members of the MADS-box gene family have been shown to be important regulators of flower development, controlling such well-studied early events as the formation of the floral meristem and the specification of floral organ identity. Other floral-specific MADS-box genes, of as yet unknown function, have been isolated by homology and are proposed to be part of a regulatory hierarchy controlling flower development. Some of these genes might regulate later aspects of flower development, such as development of individual floral organs, which is less well studied at the molecular level. This paper presents a detailed analysis of the expression pattern of one such gene from Arabidopsis, AGL1, using RNA in situ hybridization. It is found that AGL1 is specifically expressed in particular regions of the gynoecium and ovule, only during and after floral development stage 7. AGL1 expression at the tip of the growing carpel primordia, along the margins of the ovary valves in developing and mature gynoecia and in specific regions of developing and mature ovules provides important insights into the possible roles of AGL1. It is proposed that AGL1 may have regulatory functions in the structural definition and/or function of the valve margins, in axis maintenance during ovule development, in nutritional supply to the growing ovule and embryo sac, and in pollen tube guidance. In the floral homeotic mutants ag-1, ap3-3 and ap2-2, AGL1 mRNA is expressed in an organ-dependent manner, suggesting that AGL1 is a carpel-specific gene and as such ultimately depends upon the carpel identity gene AG for proper gene expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)343-353
Number of pages11
JournalPlant Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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