Recessive mutations at the plena (ple) locus result in a homeotic conversion of sex organs to sterile perianth organs in flowers of Antirrhinum majus. A complementary phenotype, in which sex organs replace sterile organs, is conferred by semidominant ovulata mutations. The ple locus was identified and isolated using a homologous gene, agamous from Arabidopsis, as a probe. The expression of ple is normally restricted to the inner two whorls of the flower, where sex organs develop. However, in ovulata mutants, ple is expressed ectopically in the outer two whorls of the flower and in vegetative organs. These mutants correspond to gain-of-function alleles of ple, suggesting that ple is sufficient for promoting sex organ development within the context of the flower. The plena and ovulata phenotypes result from opposite orientations of the transposon Tam3 inserted in the large intron of ple.