Title

Developmental Disaster 1: A Novel Mutation Causing Defects During Vegetative And Inflorescence Development In Maize (Zea Mays, Poaceae)

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2-1-2009

Published In

American Journal Of Botany

Abstract

Axillary meristems, which give rise to branches and flowers, play a critical role in plant architecture and reproduction. To understand how axillary meristems initiate, we have screened for mutants with defects in axillary meristem initiation to uncover the genes controlling this process. These mutants, called the barren class of mutants in maize (Zea mays), have defects in axillary meristem initiation during both vegetative and reproductive development. Here, we identify and characterize a new member of the barren class of mutants named Developmental disaster1 (Dvd1), due to the pleiotropic effects of the mutation. Similar to the barren mutants, Dvd1 mutants have fewer branches, spikelets, florets, and floral organs in the inflorescence due to defects in the initiation of axillary meristems. Furthermore, double mutant analysis with teosinte branched1 shows that dvd1 also functions in axillary meristems during vegetative development. However, unlike the barren mutants, Dvd1 mutants are semidwarf due to the production of shorter internodes, and they produce leaves in the inflorescence due to the outgrowth of bract leaf primordia. The suite of defects seen in Dvd1 mutants, together with the genetic interaction of Dvd1 with barren inflorescence2, suggests that dvd1 is a novel regulator of axillary meristem and internode development.