Three ways to learn the ABCs

Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2000 Feb;3(1):47-52. doi: 10.1016/s1369-5266(99)00036-9.


The ABC model of flower development represents a milestone in explaining how the fate of emerging floral organ primordia is specified. This model states that organ identity is specified by different combinations of the activities of the A, B and C class homeotic genes. In spite of the remarkable simplicity of this model, the complex regulatory interactions that establish the initial pattern of A, B and C gene activity have yet to be fully explained. It has been shown that the LEAFY gene functions early to promote flower meristem identity, and that it is subsequently required for the normal expression of the ABC genes. Recently, LEAFY has been identified as an immediate upstream regulator of the floral homeotic genes, thus opening up an avenue to examine the transcriptional interactions that underlie floral patterning.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • AGAMOUS Protein, Arabidopsis
  • Arabidopsis Proteins*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Genes, Homeobox*
  • Genes, Plant*
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics
  • MADS Domain Proteins*
  • Morphogenesis
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Shoots / growth & development*
  • Transcription Factors*


  • AGAMOUS Protein, Arabidopsis
  • APETALA 3 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • LFY protein, Arabidopsis
  • MADS Domain Proteins
  • Plant Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • UFO protein, Arabidopsis