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Research article2018Peer reviewedOpen access

Induced ovule-to-flower switch by interfering with SlIMA activity in tomato

Bollier, N.; Sicard, A.; Gonzalez, N.; Chevalier, C.; Hernould, M.; Delmas, F.


The INHIBITOR OF MERISTEM ACTIVITY in tomato (SlIMA) and MINI ZINC FINGER 2 in Arabidopsis (AtMIF2), two members of the MINI ZINC FINGER family (MIF), are involved in the regulation of flower and ovule development. MIF proteins possess a unique non-canonical zinc-finger domain that confers the capacity to interact with other protein partners. The characterization of SlIMA and AtMIF2 gain- and loss-of-function transgenic lines in Solanum lycopersicum and Arabidopsis thaliana respectively, allowed the demonstration of their conserved functional role in the termination of floral stem cell maintenance. During early floral development, the expression of SlIMA and AtMIF2 is induced by the MADS-Box transcription factor AGAMOUS (AG). Then, SlIMA or AtMIF2 protein recruits the C2H2 zinc finger KNUCKLES (KNU), in a transcriptional repressor complex together with TOPLESS (TPL) and HISTONE DEACETYLASE19 (HDA19). This complex binds to the WUSCHEL (WUS) locus leading to its repression. To further characterize the role of these interactions in flower development, we have investigated the effects of a dominant negative form of SlIMA, SlIMA(ch) that leads to spectacular phenotypes, including ovule conversion into a floral meristem.


Tomato; floral meristem termination; SlIMA; MIF; flower development

Published in

Plant Signaling and Behavior
2018, Volume: 13, number: 6, article number: e1473687

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Plant Biotechnology
    Developmental Biology

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