AGAMOUS Terminates Floral Stem Cell Maintenance in Arabidopsis by Directly Repressing WUSCHEL through Recruitment of Polycomb Group Proteins

Xigang Liu, Yun Ju Kim, Ralf Mueller, Rae Eden Yumul, Chunyan Liu, Yanyun Pan, Xiaofeng Cao, Justin Goodrich, Xuemei Chena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Floral stem cells produce a defined number of floral organs before ceasing to be maintained as stem cells. Therefore, floral stem cells offer an ideal model to study the temporal control of stem cell maintenance within a developmental context. AGAMOUS (AG), a MADS domain transcription factor essential for the termination of floral stem cell fate, has long been thought to repress the stem cell maintenance gene WUSCHEL (WUS) indirectly. Here, we uncover a role of Polycomb Group (PcG) genes in the temporally precise repression of WUS expression and termination of floral stem cell fate. We show that AG directly represses WUS expression by binding to the WUS locus and recruiting, directly or indirectly, PcG that methylates histone H3 Lys-27 at WUS. We also show that PcG acts downstream of AG and probably in parallel with the known AG target KNUCKLES to terminate floral stem cell fate. Our studies identify core components of the network governing the temporal program of floral stem cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3654-3670
Number of pages17
JournalPlant Cell
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011

Cite this