To identify genes involved in meristem function we have designed a screen for temperature-sensitive mutations that cause a conditional arrest of early shoot development in Arabidopsis. We describe the characterization of three mutations, arrested development (add) 1, 2 and 3. At the restrictive temperature the add1 and add2 mutations disrupt apical meristem function as assayed by leaf initiation. Furthermore, add1 and add2 plants exhibit defects in leaf morphogenesis following upshift from permissive to restrictive temperature. This result suggests that proximity to a functional meristem is required for the completion of normal leaf morphogenesis. The add3 mutation does not have a dramatic effect on the production of leaves by the apical meristem; however, add3 prevents the expansion of leaf blades at high temperature. Thus, in this mutant the temperature-dependent arrest of epicotyl development is due to a failure of normal leaf development rather than new leaf initiation. While all add mutants have a reduced rate of root growth in comparison to wild-type plants, the mutants do not display a temperature-dependent arrest of root development. All add mutants display some developmental defects at low temperature, suggesting that these mutations affect genes involved in inherently temperature-sensitive developmental processes.

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