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Title: The FUSED LEAVES1‐ ADHERENT1 regulatory module is required for maize cuticle development and organ separation

All aerial epidermal cells in land plants are covered by the cuticle, an extracellular hydrophobic layer that provides protection against abiotic and biotic stresses and prevents organ fusion during development.

Genetic and morphological analysis of the classic maizeadherent1(ad1) mutant was combined with genome‐wide binding analysis of the maize MYB transcription factor FUSED LEAVES1 (FDL1), coupled with transcriptional profiling offdl1mutants.

We show thatAD1encodes an epidermally‐expressed 3‐KETOACYL‐CoA SYNTHASE (KCS) belonging to a functionally uncharacterized clade of KCS enzymes involved in cuticular wax biosynthesis. Wax analysis inad1mutants indicates thatAD1functions in the formation of very‐long‐chain wax components. We demonstrate that FDL1 directly binds to CCAACC core motifs present inAD1regulatory regions to activate its expression. Over 2000 additional target genes of FDL1, including many involved in cuticle formation, drought response and cell wall organization, were also identified.

Our results identify a regulatory module of cuticle biosynthesis in maize that is conserved across monocots and eudicots, and highlight previously undescribed factors in lipid metabolism, transport and signaling that coordinate organ development and cuticle formation.

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Journal Name:
New Phytologist
Page Range / eLocation ID:
p. 388-402
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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