Meristem function in Streptocarpus

Understanding meristem function in the morphologically flexible genus Streptocarpus (Gesneriaceae)

In Arabidopsis the gene SHOOTMERISTEMLESS (STM) controls the formation of the shoot apical meristem (SAM). In certain species of Streptocarpus no conventional SAM is present. The plant body, in the extreme, arises from only one enlarged cotyledon that becomes the only foliar organ. The Gesneriaceae homologue of STM (SKNOX I) has been isolated from Streptocarpus species and its involvement in the vegetative meristem initiation in Streptocarpus investigated. Alongside STM other genes, belonging to different families of transcription factors, known to be involved in meristem functions (such as ARP, WUS, KNOX1 and FIL) have also been isolated and their expression patterns currently analysed in diverse species of Streptocarpus.

 STM expression at different stages of seedling development of Streptocarpus rexii (based on Mantegazza et al. 2007)


Michael Möller - Group leader
Alberto Spada - Collaborating group leader, University of Milan
Toshiyuki Nagata - Collaborating group leader, University of Tokyo
Chun-Neng [Bruce] Wang - Collaborating group leader, National Taiwan University, Taipei
Kanae Nishii - postdoc 2007-, National Taiwan University.


Mantegazza R, P Tononi, M MÖLLER, A Spada (2009). WUS and STM homologues are linked to the expression of lateral dominance in the acaulescent Streptocarpus rexii (Gesneriaceae). Planta 230(3): 529-542. 

Mantegazza R, Möller M, Harrison CJ, Fior S, De Luca C, Spada A. (2007) Anisocotyly and meristem initiation in an unorthodox plant, Streptocarpus rexii (Gesneriaceae). Planta 225:653-663.

Harrison J, Möller M, Langdale J, Cronk Q, Hudson A. (2005) The role of KNOX genes in the evolution of morphological novelty in Streptocarpus. Plant Cell 17:430-443.

Möller M, Cronk QC. (2001) Evolution of morphological novelty: a phylogenetic analysis of growth patterns in Streptocarpus (Gesneriaceae). Evolution 55:918-929. 

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