New paper from the Hake Lab and their collaborators at Huazhong Agricultural University in Wuhan, China


Plant architecture results from a balance of indeterminate and determinate cell fates. Cells with indeterminate fates are located in meristems, comprising groups of pluripotent cells that produce lateral organs. Meristematic cells are also found in intercalary stem tissue, which provides cells for internodes, and at leaf margins to contribute to leaf width. We identified a maize (Zea mays) mutant that has a defect in balancing determinacy and indeterminacy. The mutant has narrow leaves and short internodes, suggesting a reduction in indeterminate cells in the leaf and stem. In contrast, the mutants fail to control indeterminacy in shoot meristems. Inflorescence meristems are fasciated, and determinate axillary meristems become indeterminate. Positional cloning identified growth regulating factor-interacting factor1 (gif1) as the responsible gene. gif1 mRNA accumulates in distinct domains of shoot meristems, consistent with tissues affected by the mutation. We determined which GROWTH REGULATING FACTORs interact with GIF1 and performed RNA-seq analysis. Many genes known to play roles in inflorescence architecture were differentially expressed in gif1. Chromatin immunoprecipitation identified some differentially expressed genes as direct targets of GIF1. The interactions with these diverse direct and indirect targets help explain the paradoxical phenotypes of maize GIF1. These results provide insights into the biological functions of gif1.


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