The homeotic gene APETALA3 of Arabidopsis thaliana encodes a MADS box and is expressed in petals and stamens

Cell. 1992 Feb 21;68(4):683-97. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(92)90144-2.


Mutations in the APETALA3 (AP3) gene of A. thaliana result in homeotic transformations of petals to sepals and stamens to carpels. We have cloned the AP3 gene from Arabidopsis based on its homology to the homeotic flower gene deficiens (DEFA) from the distantly related plant Antirrhinum majus. The sequence of four ap3 mutant alleles and genetic mapping analysis prove that the DEFA homolog is AP3. Like several other plant homeotic genes, the AP3 gene contains a MADS box and likely acts as a transcription factor. The region-specific spatial expression pattern of AP3 rules out certain types of sequential models of flower development and argues in favor of a spatial model based on positional information. Since DEFA and AP3 have very similar protein products, mutant phenotypes, and spatial expression patterns, it is likely that these genes are cognate homologs.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Arabidopsis Proteins*
  • Base Sequence
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Gene Expression
  • Genes, Homeobox
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics*
  • MADS Domain Proteins*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Plants / genetics*


  • APETALA 3 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • MADS Domain Proteins

Associated data

  • GENBANK/M84180
  • GENBANK/M84181
  • GENBANK/M84182
  • GENBANK/M86357
  • GENBANK/S72766
  • GENBANK/S72767
  • GENBANK/S72768
  • GENBANK/S72769
  • GENBANK/S72771
  • GENBANK/X63098