Co-suppression of the petunia homeotic gene fbp2 affects the identity of the generative meristem

Gerco C. Angenent*, John Franken, Marco Busscher, David Weiss, Arjen J. Van Tunen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

167 Scopus citations


The function of the petunia MADS box gene fbp2 in the control of floral development has been investigated. Inhibition of fbp2 expression in transgenic plants by a co-suppression approach resulted in the development of highly aberrant flowers with modified whorl two, three and four organs. This mutant flower phenotype inherited as a single Mendelian trait. The flowers possess a green corolla which is reduced in size. Furthermore, the stamens are replaced by green petaloid structures and the inner gynoecial whorl is dramatically reduced. No ovules or placenta are formed and instead two new inflorescences developed in the axils of the carpels. These homeotic transformations are accompanied by a complete down-regulation of the petunia MADS box gene fbp6 which is highly homologous to the Arabidopsis and Antirrhinum genes agamous (ag) and plena (pie). In contrast to this, two other petunia MADS box genes, exclusively expressed in whorls two and three, are still transcribed. Our results indicate that the fbp2 gene belongs to a new class of morphogenesis genes involved in the determination of the central part of the generative meristem.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)33-44
Number of pages12
JournalPlant Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1994


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