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EMBRYONIC FLOWER2, a Novel Polycomb Group Protein Homolog, Mediates Shoot Development and Flowering in Arabidopsis

Nobumasa Yoshida, Yukihiro Yanai, Lingjing Chen, Yoshihiro Kato, Junzo Hiratsuka, Tatsushi Miwa, Z. Renee Sung and Shigeru Takahashi
The Plant Cell
Vol. 13, No. 11 (Nov., 2001), pp. 2471-2481
DOI: 10.2307/3871588
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3871588
Page Count: 11
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
EMBRYONIC FLOWER2, a Novel Polycomb Group Protein Homolog, Mediates Shoot Development and Flowering in Arabidopsis
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Abstract

In higher plants, developmental phase changes are regulated by a complex gene network. Loss-of-function mutations in the EMBRYONIC FLOWER genes (EMF1 and EMF2) cause Arabidopsis to flower directly, bypassing vegetative shoot growth. This phenotype suggests that the EMF genes play a major role in repression of the reproductive program. Positional cloning of EMF2 revealed that it encodes a zinc finger protein similar to FERTILIZATION-INDEPENDENT SEED2 and VERNALIZATION2 of Arabidopsis. These genes are characterized as structural homologs of Suppressor of zeste 12 [Su(z)12], a novel Polycomb group gene currently identified in Drosophila. In situ hybridization studies have demonstrated that EMF2 RNA is found in developing embryos, in both the vegetative and the reproductive shoot meristems, and in lateral organ primordia. Transgenic suppression of EMF2 produced a spectrum of early-flowering phenotypes, including emf2 mutant-like phenotype. This result confirms the role of EMF2 in phase transitions by repressing reproductive development.

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