Author(s): Yang WC, Ye D, Xu J, Sundaresan V
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Abstract The formation of haploid spores marks the initiation of the gametophytic phase of the life cycle of all vascular plants ranging from ferns to angiosperms. In angiosperms, this process is initiated by the differentiation of a subset of floral cells into sporocytes, which then undergo meiotic divisions to form microspores and megaspores. Currently, there is little information available regarding the genes and proteins that regulate this key step in plant reproduction. We report here the identification of a mutation, SPOROCYTELESS (SPL), which blocks sporocyte formation in Arabidopsis thaliana. Analysis of the SPL mutation suggests that development of the anther walls and the tapetum and microsporocyte formation are tightly coupled, and that nucellar development may be dependent on megasporocyte formation. Molecular cloning of the SPL gene showed that it encodes a novel nuclear protein related to MADS box transcription factors and that it is expressed during microsporogenesis and megasporogenesis. These data suggest that the SPL gene product is a transcriptional regulator of sporocyte development in Arabidopsis.
This article was published in Genes Dev
and referenced in Cell & Developmental Biology