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Petunia Hybrida CAROTENOID CLEAVAGE DIOXYGENASE7 Is Involved In The Production Of Negative And Positive Branching Signals In Petunia

Revel S.M. Drummond, N. Marcela Martínez-Sánchez, Bart J. Janssen, Kerry R. Templeton, Joanne L. Simons, Brian D. Quinn, Sakuntala Karunairetnam, Kimberley C. Snowden

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Abstract One of the key factors that defines plant form is the regulation of when and where branches develop. The diversity of form observed in nature results, in part, from variation in the regulation of branching between species. Two CAROTENOID CLEAVAGE DIOXYGENASE (CCD) genes, CCD7 and CCD8, are required for the production of a branch-suppressing plant hormone. Here, we report that the decreased apical dominance3 (dad3) mutant of petunia (Petunia hybrida) results from the mutation of the PhCCD7 gene and has a less severe branching phenotype than mutation of PhCCD8 (dad1). An analysis of the expression of this gene in wild-type, mutant, and grafted petunia suggests that in petunia, CCD7 and CCD8 are coordinately regulated. In contrast to observations in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), ccd7ccd8 double mutants in petunia show an additive phenotype. An analysis using dad3 or dad1 mutant scions grafted to wild-type rootstocks showed that when these plants produce adventitious mutant roots, branching is increased above that seen in plants where the mutant roots are removed. The results presented here indicate that mutation of either CCD7 or CCD8 in petunia results in both the loss of an inhibitor of branching and an increase in a promoter of branching.