Inflorescence architecture varies widely among flowering plants, serving to optimize the display of flowers for reproductive success. In Arabidopsis thaliana, internode elongation begins at the floral transition, generating a regular spiral arrangement of upwardly-oriented flowers on the primary stem. Post-elongation, differentiation of lignified interfascicular fibers in the stem provides mechanical support. Correct inflorescence patterning requires two interacting homeodomain transcription factors: the KNOTTED1-like protein BREVIPEDICELLUS (BP) and its BEL1-like interaction partner PENNYWISE (PNY). Mutations in BP and PNY cause short internodes, irregular spacing and/or orientation of lateral organs, and altered lignin deposition in stems. Recently, we showed that these defects are caused by the misexpression of lateral organ boundary genes, BLADE-ON-PETIOLE1 (BOP1) and BOP2, which function downstream of BP-PNY in an antagonistic fashion. BOP1/2 gain-of-function in stems promotes expression of the boundary gene KNOTTED1-LIKE FROM ARABIDOPSIS THALIANA6 (KNAT6) and shown here, ARABIDOPSIS THALIANA HOMEOBOX GENE1 (ATH1), providing KNAT6 with a BEL1-like co-factor. Our further analyses show that defects caused by BOP1/2 gain-of-function require both KNAT6 and ATH1. These data reveal how BOP1/2-dependent activation of a boundary module in stems exerts changes in inflorescence architecture.

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Keywords Arabidopsis thaliana, ATH1, BLADE-ON-PETIOLE1 and 2, Internode patterning, KNAT6
Journal Plant Signaling and Behavior
Khan, M. (Madiha), Tabb, P. (Paul), & Hepworth, S. (2012). BLADE-ON-PETIOLE1 and 2 regulate Arabidopsis inflorescence architecture in conjunction with homeobox genes KNAT6 and ATH1. Plant Signaling and Behavior, 7(7), 1–5.