BLADE-ON-PETIOLE1 and 2 regulate Arabidopsis inflorescence architecture in conjunction with homeobox genes KNAT6 and ATH1

Plant Signal Behav. 2012 Jul;7(7):788-92. doi: 10.4161/psb.20599. Epub 2012 Jul 1.


Inflorescence architecture varies widely among flowering plants, serving to optimize the display of flowers for reproductive success. In Arabidopsis thaliana, internode elongation begins at the floral transition, generating a regular spiral arrangement of upwardly-oriented flowers on the primary stem. Post-elongation, differentiation of lignified interfascicular fibers in the stem provides mechanical support. Correct inflorescence patterning requires two interacting homeodomain transcription factors: the KNOTTED1-like protein BREVIPEDICELLUS (BP) and its BEL1-like interaction partner PENNYWISE (PNY). Mutations in BP and PNY cause short internodes, irregular spacing and/or orientation of lateral organs, and altered lignin deposition in stems. Recently, we showed that these defects are caused by the misexpression of lateral organ boundary genes, BLADE-ON-PETIOLE1 (BOP1) and BOP2, which function downstream of BP-PNY in an antagonistic fashion. BOP1/2 gain-of-function in stems promotes expression of the boundary gene KNOTTED1-LIKE FROM ARABIDOPSIS THALIANA6 (KNAT6) and shown here, ARABIDOPSIS THALIANA HOMEOBOX GENE1 (ATH1), providing KNAT6 with a BEL1-like co-factor. Our further analyses show that defects caused by BOP1/2 gain-of-function require both KNAT6 and ATH1. These data reveal how BOP1/2-dependent activation of a boundary module in stems exerts changes in inflorescence architecture.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / anatomy & histology*
  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis / growth & development
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism
  • Body Patterning / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Gene Silencing
  • Genes, Plant / genetics*
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics
  • Homeodomain Proteins / metabolism
  • Inflorescence / anatomy & histology*
  • Inflorescence / genetics*
  • Models, Biological
  • Phenotype
  • Plant Stems / cytology
  • Plant Stems / genetics
  • Plant Stems / growth & development
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • BOP1 protein, Arabidopsis
  • BOP2 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • KNAT5 protein, Arabidopsis
  • KNAT6 protein, Arabidopsis
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Transcription Factors