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Highly Branched Phenotype Of The Petunia Dad1-1 Mutant Is Reversed By Grafting

C. Napoli

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Abstract The recessive dad1–1 allele conditions a highly branched growth habit resulting from a proliferation of first- and second-order branches. Unlike the wild-type parent, which has lateral branching delayed until the third or fourth leaf node distal to the cotyledons, dad1–1 initiates lateral branching from each cotyledon axil. In addition to initiating lateral branching sooner than the wild type, dad1–1 sustains branching through more nodes on the main shoot axis than the wild type. In keeping with a propensity for branching at basal nodes, dad1–1 produces second-order branches at the proximal-most nodes on first-order branches and small shoots from accessory buds at basal nodes on the main shoot axis. Additional traits associated with the mutation are late flowering, adventitious root formation, shortened internodes, and mild leaf chlorosis. Graft studies show that a dad1–1 scion, when grafted onto wild-type stock, is converted to a phenotype resembling the wild type. Furthermore, a small wild-type interstock fragment inserted between a mutant root stock and a mutant scion is sufficient to convert the dad1–1 scion from mutant to a near wild-type appearance. The recessive dad1–1 phenotype combines traits associated with cytokinin overexpression, auxin overexpression, and gibberellin limitation, which suggests a complex interaction of hormones in establishing the mutant phenotype.