Mosaic analysis of the liguleless3 mutant phenotype in maize by coordinate suppression of Mutator-insertion alleles

John E. Fowler, Gary J. Muehlbauer, Michael Freeling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

Liguleless3-0 (Lg3-0) transform the leaf blade, auricle and ligule into sheath around the midrib region. We conducted a genetic mosaic analysis of the Lg3 phenotype to determine the site of Lg3 gene action. Combining the Mutator (Mu) suppressible Lg3-Or211 and a1-mum2 alleles in a Mu-active background generated a stock wherein somatic loss of Mu activity resulted in anthocyanin-marked clonal sectors expressing Lg3 in the leaf. Lg3-Or211 plants appear wild type in a Mu-active line, but Mu-inactive plants express a severe Lg3 phenotype. We observed four sector classes; wild type, sheath- like with ligule displacement, sheath-like with ectopic ligule, and auricle- like. The mutation does not cause transformation to a specific cell or regional identity. Lg3-Or211 activity in the mesophyll alters wild-type epidermal cell fates; activity in epidermis seems funtionless. Lg3 mutant activity has a nonautonomous, cell-layer-specific function in the transverse dimension. In the lateral dimension, sectors of Lg3 mutant phenotype can exhibit either cell-autonomous or nonautonomous effects. Our work demonstrates that mosaic analysis by coordinate suppression of Mu-induced alleles is useful for analyzing the cell autonomy of genetically defined functions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)489-503
Number of pages15
JournalGenetics
Volume143
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1996

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