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The Arabidopsis LFR gene is required for the formation of anther cell layers and normal expression of key regulatory genes.

Wang X.T., Yuan C., Yuan T.T., Cui S.J.

The anther is the male reproductive organ in flowering plants. Although some genes were reported to be involved in anther development, the molecular mechanisms underlying the transcriptional regulation of these genes is unclear. lfr-2 (leaf and flower related-2), the null allele of Arabidopsis thaliana LFR (LEAF AND FLOWER RELATED), was male-sterile. The anthers of lfr-2 plants were defective in sporogenous cell formation, tapetum development, and pollen development. In agreement with these phenotypes, expression studies showed that LFR was expressed in all cell layers of the anther, and that expression was particularly strong in the tapetal cells and pollen grains. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis revealed that LFR is required for the normal transcription of some anther development-related genes, such as AMS, CALS5, and DYT1, MS1 and MS2, and ROXY2. Genetic analysis showed that SPL was epistatic to LFR while LFR was epistatic to DYT1. We propose that LFR may be a crucial component in the regulation of a genetic network that modulates anther development.

Mol. Plant 5:993-1000(2012) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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