2015 Volume 90 Issue 3 Pages 163-174
The acaulis2 (acl2) mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana shows a defect in flower stalk elongation. We identified the mutation point of acl2 by map-based cloning. The ACL2 locus is located within an approximately 320-kb region at around 100 map units on chromosome 1. One nucleotide substitution was detected in this region in the acl2 mutant, but no significant open reading frames were found around this mutation point. When wild-type DNA fragments containing the mutation point were introduced into acl2 mutant plants, some transgenic plants partially or almost completely recovered from the defect in flower stalk elongation. 3’-RACE experiments showed that bidirectional transcripts containing the acl2 mutation point were expressed, and the Plant MPSS database revealed that several small RNAs were produced from this region. Microarray analysis showed that transcription of many genes is activated in flower stalks of acl2 mutant plants. Overexpression of some of these genes caused a dwarf phenotype in wild-type plants. These results suggest the following novel mechanism for control of the elongation of flower stalks. Bidirectional non-coding RNAs are transcribed from the ACL2 locus, and small RNAs are generated from them in flower stalks. These small RNAs repress the transcription of a set of genes whose expression represses flower stalk elongation, and flower stalks are therefore fully elongated.