A Caltech Library Service

SUPERMAN, a regulator of floral homeotic genes in Arabidopsis

Bowman, John L. and Sakai, Hajime and Jack, Thomas and Weigel, Detlef and Mayer, Ulrike and Meyerowitz, Elliot M. (1992) SUPERMAN, a regulator of floral homeotic genes in Arabidopsis. Development, 114 (3). pp. 599-615. ISSN 0950-1991.

PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


We describe a locus, SUPERMAN, mutations in which result in extra stamens developing at the expense of the central carpels in the Arabidopsis thaliana flower. The development of superman flowers, from initial primordium to mature flower, is described by scanning electron microscopy. The development of doubly and triply mutant strains, constructed with superman alleles and previously identified homeotic mutations that cause alterations in floral organ identity, is also described. Essentially additive phenotypes are observed in superman agamous and superman apetala2 double mutants. The epistatic relationships observed between either apetala3 or pistillata and superman alleles suggest that the SUPERMAN gene product could be a regulator of these floral homeotic genes. To test this, the expression patterns of AGAMOUS and APETALA3 were examined in superman flowers. In wild-type flowers, APETALA3 expression is restricted to the second and third whorls where it is required for the specification of petals and stamens. In contrast, in superman flowers, APETALA3 expression expands to include most of the cells that would normally constitute the fourth whorl. This ectopic APETALA3 expression is proposed to be one of the causes of the development of the extra stamens in superman flowers. The spatial pattern of AGAMOUS expression remains unaltered in superman flowers as compared to wild-type flowers. Taken together these data indicate that one of the functions of the wild-type SUPERMAN gene product is to negatively regulate APETALA3 in the fourth whorl of the flower. In addition, superman mutants exhibit a loss of determinacy of the floral meristem, an effect that appears to be mediated by the APETALA3 and PISTILLATA gene products.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Meyerowitz, Elliot M.0000-0003-4798-5153
Additional Information:© 1992 by Company of Biologists. (Accepted 27 November 1991) We thank our colleagues Laura Brockman, Caren Chang, Gary Drews, Shing Kwok, and Mark Running for insightful discussion and critical review. We also thank Elizabeth Schultz, George Haughn, Russell Malmberg, John Alvarez, and David Smyth for providing genetic material, and Pat Koen of the Electron Microscope Facility at Caltech for technical advice. This study was assisted by National Science Foundation grant DCB-8703439 to E.M.M. J.L.B. was partially supported by training grant 5T32-GM07616 of the National Institutes of Health, H.S. was supported by a long-term fellowship from the Human Frontier Science Program, T.J. was supported by NIH post-doctoral grant GM-13667-02, D.W. was an EMBO long-term fellow, U.M. was supported by the DFG (Leibnizprogramm to Herbert Jackie, grant Ju 179/2-1 to Gerd Jurgens).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NIH Predoctoral Fellowship5T32-GM07616
Human Frontier Science ProgramUNSPECIFIED
European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO)UNSPECIFIED
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)Ju 179/2-1
Subject Keywords:flower development, Arabidopsis, homeotic gene
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:BOWdev92
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:SUPERMAN, a regulator of floral homeotic genes in Arabidopsis J.L. Bowman, H. Sakai, T. Jack, D. Weigel, U. Mayer, E.M. Meyerowitz Development 1992 114: 599-615
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:12429
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:25 Nov 2008 22:16
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 00:28

Repository Staff Only: item control page