The product of the maize homeobox gene, knotted1 (kn1), localizes to the nuclei of cells in shoot meristems, but is absent from portions of the meristem where leaf primordia or floral organs initiate. Recessive mutant alleles of kn1 were obtained by screening for loss of the dominant leaf phenotype in maize. Mutant kn1 alleles carrying nonsense, splicing and frame shift mutations cause severe inflorescence and floral defects. Mutant tassels produce fewer branches and spikelets. Ears are often absent, and when present, are small with few spikelets. In addition, extra carpels form in female florets and ovule tissue proliferates abnormally. Less frequently, extra leaves form in the axils of vegetative leaves. These mutations reveal a role for kn1 in meristem maintenance, particularly as it affects branching and lateral organ formation.
Loss-of-function mutations in the maize homeobox gene, knotted1, are defective in shoot meristem maintenance
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R.A. Kerstetter, D. Laudencia-Chingcuanco, L.G. Smith, S. Hake; Loss-of-function mutations in the maize homeobox gene, knotted1, are defective in shoot meristem maintenance. Development 15 August 1997; 124 (16): 3045–3054. doi: https://doi.org/10.1242/dev.124.16.3045
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