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Flower development of Lilium longiflorum - The Lilium information ...

Flower development of Lilium longiflorum - The Lilium information ...

Floral homeotic mutants

Floral homeotic mutants of Lilium pMADS1, shows the conversion of petals into sepals, but keeps the stamen identity in the third whorl (van der Krol et al., 1993; Tsuchimoto et al., 2000). It has also been found that in maize different genes determine the C function in single whorls. The AG homologue ZAG1 determines specifically the carpel formation, since zag1 mutants show aberrant pistils and loss of floral determinacy but normal tassels with fertile pollen. The other maize AG homologue, ZMM2, is preferentially accumulated in stamens. These genes have overlapping but non-identical activities (Mena et al., 1996). It is possible that the development of stamens in lily is also orchestrated by a homeotic factor exclusively found in the third whorl. If this is true, its lack of function would produce a phenotype that adopts the identity of an organ in a neighbour whorl. In the festiva case, stamens assumed a second whorl identity, indicating the conquest of the third domain by the A function. Conclusions The possibilities we raised are hypotheses that need further proof based on experimental results. Nevertheless, all the hypotheses formulated here with respect to these floral phenotypes and the complexity involved in each of the hypotheses can give a glimpse on the sophistication of flower developmental pathways, the amount of information the field has gathered in the last 15 years and the amount of riddles scientists still have to solve in order to unravel fully the mystery of flower formation. Acknowledgements We are grateful to Dr. Theo Prins for bringing us the festiva flower. This work was supported by CNPq, the Science and Technology Development Organ of the Brazilian Government (200851/98-5) and by the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries (DWK 364). 88

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