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Maize multiple archesporial cells 1 (mac1), an ortholog of rice TDL1A, modulates cell proliferation and identity in early anther development

Abstract : To ensure fertility, complex somatic and germinal cell proliferation and differentiation programs must be executed in flowers. Loss-of-function of the maize multiple archesporial cells 1 (mac1) gene increases the meiotically competent population and ablates specification of somatic wall layers in anthers. We report the cloning of mac1, which is the ortholog of rice TDL1A. Contrary to prior studies in rice and Arabidopsis in which mac1-like genes were inferred to act late to suppress trans-differentiation of somatic tapetal cells into meiocytes, we find that mac1 anthers contain excess archesporial (AR) cells that proliferate at least twofold more rapidly than normal prior to tapetal specification, suggesting that MAC1 regulates cell proliferation. mac1 transcript is abundant in immature anthers and roots. By immunolocalization, MAC1 protein accumulates preferentially in AR cells with a declining radial gradient that could result from diffusion. By transient expression in onion epidermis, we demonstrate experimentally that MAC1 is secreted, confirming that the predicted signal peptide domain in MAC1 leads to secretion. Insights from cytology and double-mutant studies with ameiotic1 and absence of first division1 mutants confirm that MAC1 does not affect meiotic cell fate; it also operates independently of an epidermal, Ocl4-dependent pathway that regulates proliferation of subepidermal cells. MAC1 both suppresses excess AR proliferation and is responsible for triggering periclinal division of subepidermal cells. We discuss how MAC1 can coordinate the temporal and spatial pattern of cell proliferation in maize anthers.
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Chung-Ju Rachel Wang, Guo-Ling Nan, Timothy Kelliher, Ljudmilla Timofejeva, Vanessa Vernoud, et al.. Maize multiple archesporial cells 1 (mac1), an ortholog of rice TDL1A, modulates cell proliferation and identity in early anther development. Development (Cambridge, England), Company of Biologists, 2012, 139 (14), pp.2594 - 2603. ⟨10.1242/dev.077891⟩. ⟨hal-02647865⟩

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