Molecular cloning of ABNORMAL FLORAL ORGANS: A gene required for flower development in Arabidopsis

Mande K. Kumaran, Ye De, Wei Cai Yang, Megan E. Griffith, Abdul M. Chaudhury, Venkatesan Sundaresan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


We report the cloning and characterization of the gene ABNORMAL FLORAL ORGANS (AFO), which is required for normal flower development in Arabidopsis. afo mutant flowers show defects in all four floral whorls. The number of organs in each whorl varies. Most flowers consist of reduced numbers of petals and stamens, even though supernumerary sepals and carpels may be observed. Abnormal organ structure is evident from an early stage. Mosaic first whorl organs are common, with some sepals taking on petaloid or staminoid characteristics. Stamens are often deformed, having thin filaments and reduced anthers, yet occasionally producing viable pollen. Partial fertility is indicated by some seed setting. The afo-1 mutation is caused by insertion of a gene trap Ds transposable element. The AFO gene was cloned and is predicted to encode a novel protein of 229 amino acids. The expression of AFO mRNA by northern blot analysis in combination with mutant phenotype suggests that the AFO gene product plays an important role in Arabidopsis flower development. We also report that antherless, a previously described male-sterile mutation, is allelic to afo-1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)118-122
Number of pages5
JournalSexual Plant Reproduction
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Antherless
  • Arabidopsis
  • Ds transposable elements
  • Flower development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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