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  1. Summary

    Style length is a major determinant of breeding strategies in flowering plants and can vary dramatically between and within species. However, little is known about the genetic and developmental control of style elongation.

    We characterized the role of two classes of leaf adaxial–abaxial polarity factors, SUPPRESSOR OF GENE SILENCING3 (SGS3) and the YABBY family transcription factors, in the regulation of style elongation inMimulus lewisii. We also examined the spatiotemporal patterns of auxin response during style development.

    Loss ofSGS3function led to reduced style length via limiting cell division, and downregulation ofYABBYgenes by RNA interference resulted in shorter styles by decreasing both cell division and cell elongation. We discovered an auxin response minimum between the stigma and ovary during the early stages of pistil development that marks style differentiation. Subsequent redistribution of auxin response to this region was correlated with style elongation. Auxin response was substantially altered when bothSGS3andYABBYfunctions were disrupted.

    We suggest that auxin signaling plays a central role in style elongation and that the way in which auxin signaling controls the different cell division and elongation patterns underpinning natural style length variation is a major question for future research.

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