A Conserved Genetic Pathway Determines Inflorescence Architecture in Arabidopsis and Rice

Chang Liu, Zhi Wei Norman Teo, Yang Bi, Shiyong Song, Wanyan Xi, Xiaobei Yang, Zhongchao Yin, Hao Yu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

165 Citations (Scopus)


The spatiotemporal architecture of inflorescences that bear flowers determines plant reproductive success by affecting fruit set and plant interaction with pollinators. The inflorescence architecture that displays great diversity across flowering plants depends on developmental decisions at inflorescence meristems. Here we report a key conserved genetic pathway determining inflorescence architecture in Arabidopsis thaliana and Oryza sativa (rice). In Arabidopsis, four MADS-box genes, SUPPRESSOR OF OVEREXPRESSION OF CONSTANS 1SHORT VEGETATIVE PHASEAGAMOUS-LIKE 24, and SEPALLATA 4 act redundantly and directly to suppress TERMINAL FLOWER1 (TFL1) in emerging floral meristems. This is indispensable for the well-known function of APETALA1 in specifying floral meristems and is coupled with a conformational change in chromosome looping at the TFL1 locus. Similarly, we demonstrate that the orthologs of these MADS-box genes in rice determine panicle branching by regulating TFL1-like genes. Our findings reveal a conserved regulatory pathway that determines inflorescence architecture in flowering plants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)612-622
Number of pages11
JournalDevelopmental Cell
Issue number6
Early online date25 Mar 2013
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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