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KANADI regulates organ polarity in Arabidopsis


Leaves and floral organs are polarized along their adaxial–abaxial (dorsal–ventral) axis. In Arabidopsis, this difference is particularly obvious in the first two rosette leaves, which possess trichomes (leaf hairs) on their adaxial surface but not their abaxial surface1,2,3. Mutant alleles of KANADI (KAN) were identified in a screen for mutants that produce abaxial trichomes on these first two leaves. kan mutations were originally identified as enhancers of the mutant floral phenotype of crabs claw (crc), a gene that specifies abaxial identity in carpels4,5. Here we show that KAN is required for abaxial identity in both leaves and carpels, and encodes a nuclear-localized protein in the GARP family of putative transcription factors. The expression pattern of KAN messenger RNA and the effect of ectopically expressing KAN under the regulation of the cauliflower mosaic virus (CAMV) 35S promoter indicate that KAN may also specify peripheral identity in the developing embryo.

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Figure 1: Effects of kanadi on organ polarity.
Figure 2: Molecular characterization of the KAN gene.
Figure 3: In situ location of KAN mRNA.
Figure 4: Seedling phenotypes of plants resulting from ectopic expression of KAN.

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Data deposits

The cDNA sequence for KAN is deposited in GenBank under accession number AY030192.


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We thank Y. Eshed and J. Bowman for pointing out the similarity between kanadi and our early trichomes mutant and for providing seeds of kan-2 for allelism tests. We also thank K. Barton for suggesting that KAN might be involved in radial as well as adaxial/abaxial patterning and for providing some of the tissue used for in situ hybridization; M. Aukerman for the pistil scanning electron mictograph; and M. Bucan for helpful comments on this manuscript. This work was supported by NIH Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (R.K.) and by a DOE grant (R.S.P.).

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Correspondence to R. Scott Poethig.

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Kerstetter, R., Bollman, K., Taylor, R. et al. KANADI regulates organ polarity in Arabidopsis. Nature 411, 706–709 (2001).

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