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Flexible maturation rates underlie part of the diversity of leaf shape, and tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) leaves are compound due to prolonged organogenic activity of the leaf margin. The CINCINNATA-teosinte branched1, cycloidea, PCF (CIN-TCP) transcription factor lanceolate (LA) restricts this organogenic activity and promotes maturation. Here, we show that tomato APETALA1/fruitfull (AP1/FUL) MADS box genes are involved in tomato leaf development and are repressed by LA. AP1/FUL expression is correlated negatively with LA activity and positively with the organogenic activity of the leaf margin. LA binds to the promoters of the AP1/FUL genes MBP20 and TM4. Overexpression of MBP20 suppressed the simple-leaf phenotype resulting from upregulation of LA activity or from downregulation of class I knotted like homeobox (KNOXI) activity. Overexpression of a dominant-negative form of MBP20 led to leaf simplification and partly suppressed the increased leaf complexity of plants with reduced LA activity or increased KNOXI activity. Tomato plants overexpressing miR319, a negative regulator of several CIN-TCP genes including LA, flower with fewer leaves via an SFT-dependent pathway, suggesting that miR319-sensitive CIN-TCPs delay flowering in tomato. These results identify a role for AP1/FUL genes in vegetative development and show that leaf and plant maturation are regulated via partially independent mechanisms.


Yogev Burko, Sharona Shleizer-Burko, Osnat Yanai, Ido Shwartz, Iris Daphne Zelnik, Jasmine Jacob-Hirsch, Itai Kela, Leor Eshed-Williams, Naomi Ori. A role for APETALA1/fruitfull transcription factors in tomato leaf development. The Plant cell. 2013 Jun;25(6):2070-83

PMID: 23771895

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