Boundary domain genes were recruited to suppress bract growth and promote branching in maize

Yuguo Xiao, Jinyan Guo, Zhaobin Dong, Annis Richardson, Erin Patterson, Sidney Mangrum, Seth Bybee, Edoardo Bertolini, Madelaine Bartlett, George Chuck, Andrea L. Eveland, Michael J. Scanlon, Clinton Whipple

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Grass inflorescence development is diverse and complex and involves sophisticated but poorly understood interactions of genes regulating branch determinacy and leaf growth. Here, we use a combination of transcript profiling and genetic and phylogenetic analyses to investigate tasselsheath1 (tsh1) and tsh4, two maize genes that simultaneously suppress inflorescence leaf growth and promote branching. We identify a regulatory network of inflorescence leaf suppression that involves the phase change gene tsh4 upstream of tsh1 and the ligule identity gene liguleless2 (lg2). We also find that a series of duplications in the tsh1 gene lineage facilitated its shift from boundary domain in nongrasses to suppressed inflorescence leaves of grasses. Collectively, these results suggest that the boundary domain genes tsh1 and lg2 were recruited to inflorescence leaves where they suppress growth and regulate a nonautonomous signaling center that promotes inflorescence branching, an important component of yield in cereal grasses.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbereabm6835
Number of pages15
JournalScience Advances
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2022


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