Genes & Genetic Systems
Online ISSN : 1880-5779
Print ISSN : 1341-7568
ISSN-L : 1341-7568
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The spatial expression patterns of DROOPING LEAF orthologs suggest a conserved function in grasses
Motokazu IshikawaYoshihiro OhmoriWakana TanakaChizuru HirabayashiKoji MuraiYasunari OgiharaTakahiro YamaguchiHiro-Yuki Hirano
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2009 Volume 84 Issue 2 Pages 137-146


The DROOPING LEAF (DL) gene regulates carpel specification in the flower and midrib formation in the leaf in Oryza sativa (rice). Loss-of-function mutations in the dl locus cause homeotic transformation of carpels into stamens and lack of midrib, resulting in the drooping leaf phenotype. DL is a member of the YABBY gene family and is closely related to the CRABS CLAW (CRC) gene in Arabidopsis thaliana. The function of Arabidopsis CRC, however, differs from that of rice DL: it is responsible for nectary development and is partially involved in carpel identity. Thus, genes related to DL/CRC seem to have functionally diversified during angiosperm evolution. To assess the conservation of DL function in related species, here we examined the in situ expression patterns of DL orthologs in three grass species, i.e., maize, wheat and sorghum, which is assigned to subfamilies different from Ehrhartoideae including O. sativa. The results clearly show that the temporal and spatial expression patterns of DL orthologs in the three species are identical to those of rice DL in both flower and leaf development, suggesting that DL-related genes are functionally conserved within the grass family. It is likely that DL may have been recruited to carpel specification and midrib formation within the lineage of the grass family after divergence of their ancestor from that of eudicots.

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© 2009 by The Genetics Society of Japan
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