Control of lateral organ development and flowering time by the Arabidopsis thaliana MADS-box Gene AGAMOUS-LIKE6

Plant J. 2010 Jun 1;62(5):807-16. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2010.04192.x. Epub 2010 Mar 2.


MADS-domain transcription factors play pivotal roles in various developmental processes. The lack of simple loss-of-function phenotypes provides impediments to understand the biological function of some of the MADS-box transcription factors. Here we have characterized the potential role of the Arabidopsis thaliana AGAMOUS-LIKE6 (AGL6) gene by fusing full-length coding sequence with transcriptional activator and repressor domains and suggest a role for AGL6 in lateral organ development and flowering. Upon photoperiodic induction of flowering, AGL6 becomes expressed in abaxial and proximal regions of cauline leaf primordia, as well as the cryptic bracts subtending flowers. In developing flowers, AGL6 is detected in the proximal regions of all floral organs and in developing ovules. Converting AGL6 into a strong activator through fusion to the VP16 domain triggers bract outgrowth, implicating AGL6 in the development of bractless flowers in Arabidopsis. In addition, ectopic reproductive structures form on both bracts and flowers in gAGL6::VP16 transgenic plants, which is dependent on B and C class homeotic genes, but independent of LEAFY. Overexpression of both AGL6 and its transcriptional repressor form, AGL6::EAR, causes precocious flowering and terminal flower formation, suggesting that AGL6 suppresses the function of a floral repressor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis / growth & development
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Flowers / growth & development*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • MADS Domain Proteins / genetics
  • MADS Domain Proteins / metabolism*
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Ovule / growth & development
  • Ovule / ultrastructure
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / genetics
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / growth & development
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / metabolism
  • RNA, Plant / genetics


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • MADS Domain Proteins
  • RNA, Plant