Genomic identification of direct target genes of LEAFY


The switch from vegetative to reproductive development in plants necessitates a switch in the developmental program of the descendents of the stem cells in the shoot apical meristem. Genetic and molecular investigations have demonstrated that the plant-specific transcription factor and meristem identity regulator LEAFY (LFY) controls this developmental transition by inducing expression of a second transcription factor, APETALA1, and by regulating the expression of additional, as yet unknown, genes. Here we show that the additional LFY targets include the APETALA1-related factor, CAULI-FLOWER, as well as three transcription factors and two putative signal transduction pathway components. These genes are up-regulated by LFY even when protein synthesis is inhibited and, hence, appear to be direct targets of LFY. Supporting this conclusion, cis-regulatory regions upstream of these genes are bound by LFY in vivo. The newly identified LFY targets likely initiate the transcriptional changes that are required for the switch from vegetative to reproductive development in Arabidopsis.# Dilusha A. William*,# Yanhui Su*, # Michael R. Smith*, # Meina Lu*# Don A. Baldwin†, and # Doris Wagner*E-mail: