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The KNOTTED-LIKE HOMEODOMAIN (KNOX) genes play a central role in maintenance of the shoot apical meristem. They also contribute to the morphology of simple and compound leaves. In this report we characterize the FaKNOX1 gene from strawberry (Fragaria spp.) and demonstrate its function in trasgenic plants. The FaKNOX1 cDNA was isolated from a cultivated strawberry (F.×ananassa) flower EST library. The sequence is most similar to Class I KNOX genes, and was mapped to linkage group VI of the diploid strawberry genome. Unlike most KNOX genes studied, steady-state transcript levels were highest in flowers and fruits. Transcripts were also detected in emerging leaf primordia and the apical dome. Transgenic strawberry plants suppressing or overexpressing FaKNOX1 exhibited conspicuous changes in plant form. The FaKNOX1 RNAi plants presented a dwarfed phenotype with deeply serrated leaflets and exaggerated petiolules. They also exhibited a high level of cellular disorganization of the shoot apical meristem and leaves. Overexpression of FaKNOX1 caused dwarfed stature with wrinkled leaves. These gain- and loss-of-function assays in strawberry functionally demonstrate the contributions of a KNOX domain protein in a rosaceous species.
Public Library of Science
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Chatterjee M, Bermudez-Lozano CL, Clancy MA, Davis TM, Folta KM (2011) A Strawberry KNOX Gene Regulates Leaf, Flower and Meristem Architecture. PLoS ONE 6(9): e24752.
© 2011 Chatterjee et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.