We have previously described the phenotype of Arabidopsis thaliana plants with mutations at the CLAVATA1 (CLV1) locus (Clark, S. E., Running, M. P. and Meyerowitz, E. M. (1993) Development 119, 397–418). Our investigations demonstrated that clv1 plants develop enlarged vegetative and inflorescence apical meristems, and enlarged and indeterminate floral meristems. Here, we present an analysis of mutations at a separate locus, CLAVATA3 (CLV3), that disrupt meristem development in a manner similar to clv1 mutations. clv3 plants develop enlarged apical meristems as early as the mature embryo stage. clv3 floral meristems are also enlarged compared with wild type, and maintain a proliferating meristem throughout flower development. clv3 root meristems are unaffected, indicating that CLV3 is a specific regulator of shoot and floral meristem development. We demonstrate that the strong clv3-2 mutant is largely epistatic to clv1 mutants, and that the semi- dominance of clv1 alleles is enhanced by double heterozygosity with clv3 alleles, suggesting that these genes work in the same pathway to control meristem development. We propose that CLV1 and CLV3 are required to promote the differentiation of cells at the shoot and floral meristem.

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