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Researchers find an essential gene for forming ears of corn
Date:9/24/2008

nd many other food crops belong to a group known as monocots. The spi1 gene has cousins that affect auxin synthesis and organ formation in Arabidopsis, but there are important differences.

"In maize, spi1 mutations cause severe developmental effects, which is not the case in Arabidopsis, which we demonstrated by deleting, or 'knocking-out,' genes similar to spi1," Jackson explained. "Our work helped demonstrate that spi1 in maize has evolved a dominant role in auxin biosynthesis, and is essential for what we plant scientists call inflorescence development--the process in seed plants in which a shoot forms that supports the plant's flowers," he added.

"When we looked at the interaction between spi1 and genes of the plant that regulate auxin transport, we found, interestingly, that the transport of auxin and biosynthesis work together in a synergistic manner to regulate how the meristem and lateral organs of the maize plant develop."


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Contact: Peter Tarr
tarr123@gmail.com
516-367-8455
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

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