The shoot apical meristem of dicotyledonous plants is highly regulated both structurally and functionally, but little is known about the mechanisms involved in this regulation. Here we describe the genetic and phenotypic characterisation of recessive mutations at three loci of Arabidopsis thaliana in which meristem structure and function are disrupted. The loci are Clavata1 (Clv1), Fasciata1 (Fas1) and Fasciata2 (Fas2). Plants mutant at these loci are fasciated having broad, flat stems and disrupted phyllotaxy. In all cases, the fasciations are associated with shoot apical meristem enlargement and altered floral development. While all the mutants share some phenotypic features they can be divided into two classes. The pleiotropic fas1 and fas2 mutants are unable to initiate wild- type organs, show major alterations in meristem structure and have reduced root growth. In contrast, clv1 mutant plants show near wild-type organ phenotypes, more subtle changes in shoot apical meristem structure and wild-type root growth.

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